Manningtree Museum & Local History Group


Manningtree War Memorial

100 years have passed since the start of the first World War & along with Manningtree & District Royal British Legion we are researching the names on the Manningtree, Mistley and Lawford Memorials.


If you have any information or pictures relating to these please contact us via the email link above. We are in particular looking for information on W. Brook; C. Curtis; N.R. Dobson and John Starling.

Full details on the Manningtree Memorial are here.



Manningtree War Memorial

The Manningtree Memorial is located on a prominent position in the High Street, in a section of what was the garden of the old Church Rectory. Dedicated on the 11th June 1919 it is a typical Celtic cross design in grey granite with two columns of initials and forty seven surnames in alphabetical order, carved on the main shaft. Funded by public donation, built as a permanent commemoration, it has stood the test of time and with help from the Town Council, still stands proud nearly 100 years on. An oak shrine was also dedicated on the 1st July 1923 at the old church which stood opposite.

Manningtree. Known as the country’s smallest town, at the 1911 census there was a total population of only 887 people living in 216 dwellings, many of which were shops. There were 432 men and male children recorded. By the end of the war 47 men linked to the town were dead. A loss of this magnitude, even spread over four years, would have had a real impact, bringing the war home to those living in the Town. Everyone would have personally known someone who died; they would have encountered relatives who had lost sons, husbands or fathers.

World War. Whilst the bulk of the fighting took place in France and Belgium the conflict spread across Europe into the Middle East. Private Amos Garrad sailed from Avonmouth with the 1st Battalion of the Essex regiment, passing through the Mediterranean, stopping over in Egypt. He then joined forces landed in Gallipoli, with the aim controlling the Dardanelle Straits. He died of his wounds in June 1915, fighting Turks of the Ottoman Empire.
Harry Dawson, a local factory worker, and Stanley Oxley also joined the Essex regiment, this time with the 5th Battalion, sailing out to Egypt. After crossing the Suez Canal, Harry was killed on the opening day of the first battle of Gaza, on the 26th March 1917, and is buried in a local cemetery in Palestine.


Full details on the Mistley Memorial.

We are in particular looking for information on A E Thomas & R C White.

Mistley Memorial

The Mistley War Memorial is located on a triangular grass island at the key junction between New Road, Mistley High Street and The Walls, opposite the site of the old Church, now known as Mistley Towers.

It has a formal Cross on a large stone plinth where 60 names are listed in twin Columns, two being later additions. A further two men who served and died later in 1920 have also been covered here. Eleven names were later added from the Second World War.

The Memorial was formally dedicated on the 16th January 1921, funded by public subscription. The local firm EDME’s (English Diastatic Malt Extract Company Ltd) contributed £100 to the memorial funds.
A roll of Honour with seven names was unveiled on the 9th April 1920 at the Mistley Primitive Methodist Church.

The population of Mistley just before the war twice the size of Lawford at 1,800 people with 870 males of all ages. Sixty two local men died as a result of the war, nearly seven percent of the whole male population. Thirteen were married and left between them at least 18 children to be looked after with some financial help for their Widows, in the form of a government pension. Some of the men had their own money which was later passed over to their widows through the court of probate.

Men and Boys.
The average age of the men when they died was 26 years. The oldest was 52, the youngest only 16 years. By that age some would have been in work for a couple of years, but many had no experience of life or marriage before they volunteered or later were conscripted. The loss of life build up gradually, with nine killed in the first four months of the war in 1914, nine in 1915, eleven in 1916, thirteen in both 1917 and the last calendar year as the conflict reached its climax in 1918.



Full details on the Lawford Memorial



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Lawford Memorial

These Men of Lawford gave their Lives for their Country.

It was some while after the end of the war before the movement to set up local ‘memorials’ came about. There were long debates in places as to who should lead this and what form they should take. One typical discussion was whether to go for a new Memorial Village Hall, playing field or other ‘useful’ notion, rather than a monument. Lawford War Memorial is situated on the corner of Church Road and Wignall Street, almost opposite Ogilvie Hall. The Memorial’s face commemorates those men of Lawford who gave their lives for their country in both the First and Second World Wars. There are eight names from World War One and six from World War Two. Upon two sides of this memorial are also listed the names of 79 men who also served in the Great War. Of the three War Memorials in Lawford, Manningtree and Mistley, this is the only one that records the names of those who survived, these included a number of brothers. In 1911 Lawford had a rural population of 900 souls, with 450 males of all ages.
Of the 8 names listed as dying, none overlap with Manningtree or Mistley memorials.
About a fifth of the entire male population served, and about ten percent of these died, two percent of the male population lost to the war. This is in stark contrast to the Manningtree Memorial which records 47 lost, and Mistley where 60 are listed as War dead.

Manningtree Museum & Local History group 2014. Charity 297543