Grimsby Cenotaph

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Reference WMO/265750


Between Nuns Corner & Eastwood Avenue


DN34 5BE


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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Roadside
Description: Cenotaph
  • Stone Marble
Lettering: Incised
  • First World War (1914-1918)
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Location The Grimsby Cenotaph is situated at Nun’s Corner, Grimsby, an elongated roundabout at the junction of the A46 (Weelsby Road) and the B1203 (Bargate), close to the junction with Eastwood Avenue. Parking may be had along Eastwood Avenue, which is a cul de sac. The memorial is set on a triangular site, at the junction of the roundabout and Eastwood Avenue. A pavement goes straight past the memorial on 2 sides of the site. The site consists of the main structure on its base, rose garden beds, lawns and trees. The site is permanently illuminated, day and night. Type of memorial The type of memorial is a cenotaph made from slabs of white Carrara marble especially brought from Italy, Britain’s ally in the First World War. The cenotaph stands on a base of grey granite steps, three in all, measuring 6720mm x 5760mm at their widest point. The cenotaph itself measures 6000mm high, and is 2760mm x 1840mm at its base. Ornamentation The cenotaph is simply adorned with crossed flags on the North and South Sides, and poppy wreath on the East & West sides. History of the Memorial At the end of the Great War, Grimsby’s civic leaders decided on a cenotaph rather than any other sort of memorial to mark the passing in battle of so many of the young men. The cost of the cenotaph was defrayed by public subscription and it was decided to erect the monument in People’s Park. To show people what such a monument would be like, a wooden cenotaph was built in the park. It was similar, though smaller than the one that stands on Nun’s Corner. On Armistice Day, 1919, its pinnacle, was draped with the Union Flag and at its base, in sockets, were arrayed 3 flags, a Red Ensign, and a white Ensign flanking another large Union Jack. Homage was paid to the Dead, and the mayor and Corporation laid wreaths at its base. Wooden and rope railings girded its plinth. A photograph is on the site of a wooden mock up in People's Park, Grimsby Although it was planned to build the Cenotaph elsewhere in the park, in front of the old bandstand on its hill in front of the pond, Lord Heneage, whose gift to the town of Grimsby had been the People’s Park, was not keen on the idea and it was left to the relatives of the dead to decide where the cenotaph should stand. On 12th September, 1921, the report of a committee chaired by the mayor, Frank Thornton, was published, showing that the relatives had decided 592 to 470 in favour of building the cenotaph on a site on Nun’s Corner, at the end of Bargate, on land owned by Lord Heneage. The Town Council negotiated with the said Lord and the land was purchased and the cenotaph built. Unfortunately not enough money was collected, and rather than pay for it by the Town’s rates, an unnamed individual paid a substantial part of the cost anonymously. On December 18th, 1921, the Cenotaph was unveiled by the Mayor of Grimsby, Ald. Frank Thornton. After the ceremony the flags were taken to St James Church, Grimsby, where they were hung in the chapel of Resurrection, which was built in memory of the persons who had lost their lives in World War 1. The relevant dates were added to the memorial, and later after the Second World War, those dates were added, by painting them in black paint. By 1962, this paint had faded badly, and a protest led by Canon Markham, the Vicar of Grimsby, saw the paint replaced by the current black rubber letters and numerals being placed on the structure, which are now showing signs of wear. The local council are now responsible for the upkeep of the Cenotaph, which is used every year for the local Remembrance Parade Services. The local Grimsby Telegraph has been used as a source of information from the Grimsby Central Library, Reference section.
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Inscription The cenotaph was originally constructed after World War 1, but after World War 2, a further inscription was added to commemorate the dead of this war. Since then a further inscription has been added to commemorate the dead of all subsequent wars. There are no names listed on the memorial at all. On the North Face of the Cenotaph are words:- “IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED” (not carved but rubber letters stuck on to the stone surface) On the South face of the Cenotaph are the words:- “PRO PATRIA” (again rubber letters stuck onto the stone surface, some peeling) On the East side of the Cenotaph there are two sets of Roman Numerals spelling out 1914 & 1918 and 1939 &1945:- MCMXIV MCMVIII & MCMXXXIX MCMXLV, these are made of rubber and stuck on the stone surface. On the west side of the Cenotaph are the numbers 1914 1918 1939 1945, consisting of rubber numerals stuck onto the stone surface. Beneath the numerals is a stainless steel plaque with the below named inscription upon:- & ALL THOSE MEN AND WOMEN FROM GREAT GRIMSBY WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY North Face Inscription :IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED South Side Inscription : PRO PATRIA Inscriptions on West facing side ALL THOSE OTHER MEN AND WOMEN FROM GREAT GRIMSBY WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY 1914 1918 1939 1945 East Side Inscription MCMXIV MCMXVIII MCMMXXXIX MCMXLV

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