|The West Mersea War Memorial was dedicated 22 September 1917. A newspaper report at the time describes the scene:
A memorial cross, in honour of Mersea Islanders who have given their lives for their country during the great war, was unveiled on Saturday by Mrs Horace Egerton Green, by whose generosity it was erected, and dedicated by the Bishop of Colchester. The ceremony was held on the greensward at West Mersea, in front of the village Church, the parishioners assembling round the large oak cross, which was draped with the Union Jack.
The Vicar, the Rev. C. Pierrepont Edwards, M.C., conducted the service. The choir advanced in procession from the church, singing "Through the night of doubt and sorrow". The lesson was read by the Rev. W.J. Juniper, Nonconformist minster, after which the hymn "Jesu, lover of my soul." was sung. - The Bishop, in an address,said that was to be a lasting memorial of the splendour of self-sacrifice made by those who had laid down their lives in the cause of justice and in defence of the freedom of the world.
The Cross, which rises from a stone pavement to a height of 12 feet, bears the names of the dead:
Ralph Mussett, Thos. Funnell, Frederick Mussett, Bert Cundy, Clifford Farthing, Harold Mole, Hugh Smith, Fred B. Bennett, Harris W. Hoy, Victor Gardiner, Ernest Green, Alfred Pullen, Sidney Wright, Walter Hewes, James Cutts Avis, Rowland Cook and Frederick White.
Chelmsford Chronicle 28 September 1917
The driving force behind the Memorial was Mrs Mary Egerton Green née Grimston. Her husband Horace Egerton Green had been Mayor of Colchester and they lived at Kings Ford, Colchester. When he died in 1905, Mrs Egerton Green gave a new East Window to West Mersea Parish Church. She was very active in West Mersea life during WW1, but there is no record of her coming to live on Mersea. Her address in the 1911 Census was St Georges, Hannover Square, London.
The Memorial was erected over a year before the end of World War I and before the British Legion was founded (1921). On the cross arm are the words "He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it". On one of the oak panels that formed the plinth were the words "To the Glory of God, and in proud and loving memory of the men of this parish who gave their lives for honour and liberty."
The words were followed by the original 17 names, but with the terrible death toll in the War, this soon became inadequate. A larger base was built with four panels and this is what we see today. More names were added after World War 2, and finally, it is hoped, one last name for the Korean War was added.
An early photograph of the War Memorial, before the 'roof' was added to the cross
There are four panels at the base of the cross. They contain 44 names for World War I, 20 names for World War II, and one name for the Korean War. The photographs below were taken September 2018.
In Memory of the Men of West Mersea who made the Supreme Sacrifice in the two World Wars 1914-1918 and 1939-1945
World War I 1914-1918
|Fredk. B. Bennett ||Bertie Lee |
|Walter J. Beynon ||Stanley Mason |
|Christopher Brand||Alfred J. Mole |
|Rowland Cook ||Fredk. W. Mole |
|H. James Cottrell||Harold Mole |
|Albert Cudmore ||Reginald J. Mole |
|Bert Cundy ||Ezra Mussett |
|James Cutts Avis ||Fredk. Mussett |
|Joseph Cutts Avis||Ralph Mussett |
|Clifford Farthing||Edward Parkin |
|Percy French ||Alfred Pullen |
|Thomas Funnell ||Arther Pullen |
|Victor Gardner ||Henry W. Pullen |
|A. Percy Green ||E. Percy Roberts |
|Edward O. Green ||Hugh Smith |
|Ernest Green ||Joseph Stacey |
|Ernest Hart ||Harold F. Stoker |
|Albert Hewes ||Alfred B. Thursby|
|Walter Hewes ||Arthur Wade |
|John D. Howard ||Fredk. White |
|Harris W. Hoy ||Percy Whiting |
|Albert Jordan ||Sidney Wright |
World War II 1939 - 1945
|Alfred Butler ||Charles H. Passadoro|
|Ronald Chatters ||Denis J. Passadoro |
|Alfred Christmas ||Frank Pullen |
|Herbert Cudmore ||Robert C. Purkis |
|Douglas Cutts ||George Sampson |
|Eric Heard ||George Stoker |
|Owen K. Hewes ||James Taylor |
|George Hillaby ||Arthur Farthing |
|Huberht T. Hudson|
|Frank Kinder |
|Peter Martin ||Korea 1951|
|Harry Nesmyth||Derek Balls|
Royal British Legion Women's Section marching past the War Memorial on their 50th Anniversary. September 1987.
Some repairs were done over the years, but by 1989 more substantial work was needed. It was organised by the local branch of the Royal British Legion with many volunteers, organised by Tom Hannan and Nigel Pickering. Captain Freddie Wish, President of the Legion led the drive to raise money for this. The stem was rotten at its base was replaced completely - the base of the old stem still contained the original names and was kept by the Legion. The cross-arm was replaced, but the original lettering was sawn off and dovetailed into the new timber. The asbestos tiles on the 'roof' were replaced with a lead covering. A new concrete base was built.
Tom Hannan (white shirt) and Nigel Pickering working on the Memorial in 1990
The refurbished War Memorial was re-dedicated in a ceremony on 16th September 1990, led by Revd. John Swallow.
Remembrance Sunday 10 November 2019
Refurbishing West Mersea War Memorial
East Mersea War Memorial
WW2 casualties with Mersea connections