Loddon War Memorial
May 2021 marks the centenary of the building, unveiling and dedication of Loddon War Memorial.
Here are a few facts that you may be interested to know about a monument so important and central to the character of Loddon, but which we probably take for granted every day as just 'being there'.
The focus of Loddon Royal British Legion's annual November Remembrance, the War Memorial is actually owned, maintained and protected by Loddon Parish Council under the War Memorials (Local Authorities Powers) Act of 1923 and it has, within the last few years, installed steps in front of it to give better access to those paying their respects.
Following the horrors of World War One (the war to end all wars) a committee was set up, under the chairmanship of Mr Edward Cadge, to raise funds to enable the building of a memorial to honour those men of Loddon and surrounding villages who had died because of the War. Using the money raised, the committee employed G. Maile and Son of Euston Road in London to build and erect a memorial on consecrated ground, part of Holy Trinity churchyard. Old photographs show that when it was built in 1921, the memorial was behind iron railings, some of which have since been removed. The memorial itself cost £201.10s. 4d (about £11,000.00 in today's money), but preparing the ground and digging out a foundation took the cost to nearer £250. 0s .0d.
The War Memorial is about twelve feet high (approx 3.6 metres) and is made of rough Cornish granite. The names of the twenty eight fallen of World War One are recorded on its lower half in inlaid imperishable lead lettering. The symbolic design at the top of the memorial incorporates a circular Celtic cross, denoting Eternal (or Eternity), and a downfacing Crusader's sword, unsheathed, denoting Sacrifice and Peace - the whole design assuming that World War One would, indeed, be an unrepeatable conflict.
After World War Two, space had to then be found to accommodate sixteen extra names. This left little option but to install a plaque, fixed to the memorial, to add the extra names of the fifteen men and one woman (Corporal Muriel Stubbs ATS, who had died in 1945 in Egypt and where she was buried). If you wish to learn more about all those named on the War Memorial, you can find their potted histories in a folder kindly compiled by the Reverend Ros Hoffmann several years ago and now held in the porch of Holy Trinity church for safekeeping.