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March War Memorial

March war memorial is located to the south of Broad Street, March, Cambs, PE15 8TP

March War Memorial

Description / History

The March War Memorial is a Grade II Listed monument that commemorates the servicemen killed in the great wars.

The memorial is in the form of an obelisk approximately 5.8m tall, constructed from light gray Cornish Granite. On the elevation there is a life size statue of a soldier made of White Sicilian Marble, holding a 0.303 Lee Enfield Rifle standing in the reverse arms position.  He is dressed in World War I battle uniform.

The reverse arms position is formed by placing the muzzle of the rifle on the left foot.  Both hands, with palms facing downwards are placed across the rifle butt.

The soldier is wearing a steel battle bower (commonly referred to as a 'tin hat'). This was introduced in March-May, 1916, in response to a large number of head wound casualties being suffered by British troops. Prior to this, the only headgear worn by British troops was the standard issue peaked, soft felt cap.

The memorial was designed, sculpted and constructed by Mr. Storr-Barber of Leominster, at a total cost of £900. During World War I, Mr Storr-Barber was a private in the Royal Marines.

The Memorial was officially unveiled on 19 June 1921, by Captain C Coote. Immediately following, the dedication was carried out by The Reverend S.S. Walton.

At the time of unveiling, the memorial showed the names of 210 men of March that were killed in World War I. Since then there have been 103 names added of those who died in the second world war, as well as 3 additional plaques bearing another 21 names between them.

Epitaph

THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED IN GRATEFUL

MEMORY OF THOSE MEN OF MARCH WHO,

AT THE CALL OF THE KING AND COUNTRY,

LEFT ALL THAT WAS DEAR TO THEM.

THEY MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE

THAT OTHERS MIGHT LIVE IN FREEDOM.

LET THOSE THAT COME AFTER SEE TO

IT THAT THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.

The memorial has been transcribed and each name researched, information can be found at this Roll of Honour link

Works carried out in 2009 included adding 19 names to the war memorial. This link takes you to the War Memorials Trust website page detailing more information about that work.