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Fairford's War Memorial

Fairford's war memorial was paid for by voluntary public subscription. The Fairford War Memorial Committee was set up to raise the funds and arrange for the design and building of the monument. The committee also collected information on which names should be inscribed on the memorial, not an easy task as official records of local casualties had not been kept either locally or by the War Office. In 1919, the Committee asked the eminent architect, Ernest William Gimson of Sapperton, to design the memorial. Gimson designed a simple stone cross mounted on an octagonal base of two tiers. The cross on the top of the stone shaft in enclosed in a gabled lantern. The names of Fairford's First World War dead were inscribed on four panels on the upper tier. Thirty-three names were originally inscribed but that of E G Morse was added, out of alphabetical order, at a later date. Following the end of the Second World War a further 11 names were added on the lower tier to record those who had died during that conflict.

Fairford War Memorial
Fairford War Memorial Panel

The memorial was constructed by Messrs Farmer Brothers under the supervision of Norman Jewson, another renowned architect who, like Gimson, was a follower of William Morris's Arts and Crafts Movement. Jewson supervised the final stages of the building of the memorial as Gimson was terminally ill and died shortly after the memorial was completed. It was originally intended that the war memorial should stand in the market place but at a late stage in the project it was decided to relocate it to the churchyard of St Mary's. It has been suggested that had Gimson lived he would probably have redesigned the monument as much of the lower tier is now hidden from view from the road behind the churchyard's surrounding wall.

Fairford's war memorial was dedicated by the Bishop of Gloucester on 21 October 1920 in a ceremony that was arranged to coincide with the consecration of an extension to the existing churchyard. Among the many floral tributes laid at the base of the cross was a wreath made by boys from Farmor's School using flowers grown in the school's garden. This was a fitting tribute as most of the men commemorated on the war memorial would have attended the school in their youth.

Information on the individuals commemorated on Fairford's War Memorial is available on the following pages:
World War One
World War Two