Rainham War Memorial

Rainham War Memorial

Rainham War Memorial.

A public meeting held in the Church hall in January 1919 discussed a permanent war memorial for Rainham.

Various ideas were put forward and eventually the committee decided on a monumental cross with the names of fallen Rainham men inscribed on it. The committee proposed to have it erected outside the Church facing Station Road.

After preparation of the ground, the dedication and unveiling of the monument went ahead on Sunday December 12th 1920. The memorial cross, a replica of the Cross of Iona in Scotland made of Cornish granite stood eighteen and a half feet high with 100 names of fallen Rainham servicemen inscribed on it.

The dedication service was supposed to have taken place outside but because of freezing conditions and snow most of it took place in St. Margaret’s Church. Hundreds of people packed into the Church for the service conducted by Revd. Tamplin. Dr Penfold, chairman of the Parish council read out the names of the fallen, then boy buglers from the Royal Engineers played the Last Post. 

After the service about 2000 people gathered at the memorial as Major General Thuillier unveiled the cross. Relatives placed floral tributes at the base of the memorial as they remembered the dead.  Finally, the hoisting of the Union Flag from a half mast position on the church tower and the ringing of the church bells ended the event.

An annual Remembrance service and laying of wreaths at the memorial has taken place every year on Remembrance Sunday since the construction of the memorial.

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