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Memorial

Spitalfields WW1 cairn Spitalfields WW1 cairn

Monument: Spitalfields WW1 cairn

Inscription

{Along the cross-bar:}
Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.
{From John 15:13}

{On both sides of the upright:}
1914 - 1918

The cross is granite and is planted in a cairn of granite boulders, many of which have a flat section carved out and a name spelt out in lead lettering. This technique, used for all the inscriptions on the cross, was possibly chosen because, being a very hard stone, granite is not easy to carve. We noticed that there are some boulders with a flat section but no name - which suggests the cairn was built, or the stones prepared at least, before they know the total number of names.

This is an unusual way of arranging the names on a war memorial and not one we'd recommend to anyone wishing to make transcription easy. These 81 names have taken an inordinate amount of time to correctly transcribe, primarily because there is no way to process them systematically: top-down, left-right, spiral - none of these sequences will be certain to get them all once, and only once.

To check what we had done we asked a guide at the church if there was a list. A nice lady there gave us a copy of their typed list, and we found another list on-line. We are not the only ones who have found this task difficult: both those lists have errors - that's if you take the memorial itself to be correct. The best is the on-line list and we refer to that on our pages for the names where there are discrepancies. Where that list differs from ours we went back to our photographs so we feel pretty confident that our list is now the best. Note: we are not claiming ours is perfect!

Our objective is to correctly transcribe the names on the memorial. One has to allow for errors on the memorial itself - either introduced by the craftsmen who created it, or by the people responsible for drawing up the list from which the craftsmen worked. It is possible that the on-line list, while different from what's on the memorial, is actually more correct.

Site: Spitalfields WW1 cairn (1 memorial)

E1, Commercial Street, Christ Church Spitalfields garden

Spitalfields Life has a 1961 photo showing this memorial in its original location, where it was at the south west corner of the church and seems to have been inside its own railed area, about where the drive-way entrance is now.

Go to map of other memorials in this area

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Spitalfields WW1 cairn

Information Subjects commemorated

Show all 82

46166

World War 1

We'd always assumed that this war was known as the Great War until WW2 came a...

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50534

Cpl. T. D. Anderson

The list gives "L/Corporal" but the memorial definitely has just "Cpl."

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