Main Image
Photographer: Tim Skelton

Southend-On-Sea War Memorial

Gazetteer No. G0329

Date 1920

Address Southend-On-Sea, Essex SS1 1DP England


Perched on the cliffs above the sea this memorial has one of the most impressive settings of any of Lutyens’s memorials. It forms an arresting silhouette.

There is a drawing in the RIBA Drawings Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London showing a scheme for a cenotaph topped by an urn with a forecourt of railings and lamps which, presumably, was dropped because of the likely expense. The memorial as built is far simpler – a slender obelisk of Portland stone with coloured stone flags on either side – the Union Flag and the White Ensign.

The memorial is given extra dignity by being raised on a low wall at the back of a broad platform approached by eight steps.

The layout of the three beds in front of the memorial (one of grass and two of plants) was designed by Lutyens but the decision to set the words “Lest We Forget” in white chippings in the grass was not his and is an unfortunate later addition.

The memorial cost £5,522 and was unveiled on 27 November 1921 by Baron Lambourne, PC, GCVO, JP, DL, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex. (Contributor: Peter Skelton)


Also Cited In

Bettley J & Pevsner N (2007) Essex. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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