Aug 8, 2014


Hundreds of men from South Staffordshire fought in the Great War, and many made the supreme sacrifice. After the war most towns and villages raised funds by public subscription to erect some form of memorial to their war dead, whilst some individual families paid for their own memorials, which often took the form of some kind of church feature or structure.



By far the most popular form of war memorial in South Staffordshire is some form of plaque commemorating individuals or groups of men. The District has 25 of these, 12 of which are made of brass; 9 of wood and 4 from other metals such as bronze or iron. Almost as popular was a stone tablet, of which the district has 16.

These plaques or tablets – 41 in number – are usually inside buildings, typically churches. More visible are village or parish war memorials, often in the form of a stone cross or obelisk, of which South Staffordshire has 13, and one of which – in Brewood – is listed. Some parishes also compiled a Roll of Honour – a day-by-day account of when their men died. These are usually displayed in wooden cases with a glass top, inside a church. South Staffordshire has 8 of these.

Some villages took these memorials a stage further. South Staffordshire has four such examples. There is a Memorial Garden in Codsall; a Memorial Park in Cheslyn Hay and a pair of Memorial Gates in Great Wyrley, and a lichgate in Weston-under-Lizard.

Individual family memorials are almost always in churches. The District has 3 stained glass windows dedicated to the dead of the Great War, plus a number of single features donated to parish churches in memory of someone killed in the war. These include an altar; a font; a shrine; a reredos and a triptych. The Church of St Michael & All Angels in Penkridge also has an unusual memorial – the battlefield cross used to mark where a fallen soldier was buried.

After the Second World War, the names of the fallen in that conflict were usually added to the existing memorials from the Great War.

South Staffordshire’s war memorials are many and varied, usually crafted with great skill and having their own kind of beauty. It is important that they are known about, cared for and appreciated for what they commemorate and what they symbolise.

The examples cited above are taken from the Imperial War Museum’s database of war memorials. Whilst comprehensive this is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a local war memorial of any kind – including war graves – then please let us know. Comment here or send details to

Staffordshire’s own involvement in the conflict of 1914-1918 is being commemorated through the Staffordshire Great War website. Click here to find out more...



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