The Arts & Crafts’ memorial is located at the Debenham family’s Bladen Valley estate. It was designed by Eric Gill (1882-1940), one of the most celebrated sculptors of his time. The slender limestone column, with effigies of a woman feeding her baby and a soldier with his sword, bears the inscription ‘To those who fell in the Great War 1914-1919’ and seven names incised on the plinth. Outside the Saxon St Martin’s-onthe-Walls Church stands the Portland stone ‘shaft-and-wheel’ memorial cross on a three-stepped octagonal base with 72 incised and blackpainted names, 12 on each side.
The west face is inscribed ‘In memory of the brave men who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War 1914-1918’. Unique in Dorset, the memorial cairn overlooking Swanage beach is built with massive, rough-hewn, locally quarried Portland stone blocks. On the south face, the inscribed stone plaque reads ‘In Memory of Swanage men who fell in the Great War’. The other sides bear a total of 99 names, a huge number for a small town. Two churches in High
East Street have memorial plaques outside but the impressive rectangular Portland stone Cenotaph in South Walk, unveiled on 24 May ‘Empire Day’ 1921, is Dorchester’s major World War One monument. Four cast-bronze plaques bear the names of 238 men and one woman, Nurse Constance Hodges. Another is inscribed ‘In Memory of those of Dorchester who gave their lives in the Great War for King and Country’. In a grass bank in the north-east corner of Fordington Cemetery, behind St George’s Church, a stone memorial commemorates 45 German soldiers who are buried here, once inmates of the prisoner of war camp based just outside Dorchester. The memorial depicts a kneeling German soldier with bowed head and holding a rifle. The inscription reads ‘Hier ruhen Deutsche Krieger in fremder
Erde doch unvergessen’ (Here lie German soldiers in a foreign land but not forgotten).
Briantspuddle remembers ‘It was designed by EricGill one of the most celebrated sculptors of his time’DORCHESTERSWANAGE
Dorchester’s main war memorialFORDINGTON
The memorial at WarehamWAREHAM
The unique memorial at Swanage
The memorial at Fordington remembering the German prisoners of war who died at the camp there