Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Stunning War Memorial of Ditchingham, UK

Ditchingham is a little village about 80 miles northeast of London, just off the English Channel. St. Mary's Church there has a most remarkable war memorial. Dedicated after the war to honor the community's fallen in the Great War, World War II was subsequently added to its listing.

It is a stunning object, made of black marble and bronze and is one of very few that include the figure of a fallen soldier. It was created by the artist Francis Derwent Wood, who also create the much better known Machine Gun Corp Memorial that features a statue of Biblical David located at Hyde Park Corner.

Too old to be sent to the trenches, Wood served as a sculptor of ceramic masks for facially disfigured soldiers during the war, before turning to working on the memorials. 

Source:  Western Front Association


  1. Very unusual and striking memorial.

  2. Seeing a soldier at the memorial is something one usually does not see.

  3. This memorial is a curious and to my mind rather clashing mixture of styles. The black marble is appropriately mournful, although very ponderous - the headline word 'stunning' is appropriate in a way that probably wasn't intended - for a village church, and its angular Art Deco-ish cut isn't very sympathetic. On the other hand the prone figure takes one back in an instant to Medieval times and their worshipful reverence for the dead. Whatever the final verdict, it cannot be denied it is both striking and unusual.

  4. Such a beautiful face - I wonder who the model was?

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  6. why is Mary Rodwell memorialised here in Ditchingham when she was born in Brockdish?