Type War Memorial
Cenotaph on base of three steps and moulded plinth. Laurel wreath and pendant carved on face of column. On entablature beneath pediment are carved shields with Arms of Stretford and County of Lancaster, surmounted by a crown. Whole surmounted by lion couchant. Surrounded by semicircular stone wall with dressed plinth piers and copings on which is curved bronze tablet containing names of 580 soldiers from Stretford who fell in WWI.
In 1919 Stretford UDC launched an appeal for subscriptions towards a war memorial. This raised £9,274, of which £6,000 was contributed by Stretford British Red Cross Society, and £3,274 by the public. The council decided to use this sum to establish a District Nursing Service, funded by a trust containing £8,000 and to use the remainder to fund a permanent memorial.(1) However, a war memorial sub-committee was not appointed until July 1922, and its choice of site caused a heated local debate which escalated into a struggle for control of the memorial itself.(2) The committee, which consisted of the senior council member for each ward and the Chairman of the General Purposes Committee, was persistently challenged by a group of around 70 Stretford ratepayers who objected to the suggested site, opposite the entrance gates of Gorse Hill Park on the other side of Chester Road. The ratepayers, who effectively constitued a rival committee, complained that a new building behind the proposed site would detract from the effect of the memorial and suggested alternative sites, but each one was turned down. They eventually called for a cessation of work on the memorial until a public meeting could be held to consider the question, and advertised that such a meeting was going to take place in the council offices on 20 March 1923. The council had not given their permission for the meeting, with the result that "80 persons were present on the premises without authority, but were not admitted to the council chamber."(3) However, the council did concede to put the matter to a vote of the relatives of the fallen, subscribers and members of the committee organising the Remembrance day pageant. Of 480 votes returned, the vast majority were in favour of the original site, opposite the Gorse Hill gates.(4) Despite their defeat, some of the criticisms of the ratepayers were taken on board. The effect of the new building on the memorial was mitigated by the planting of poplars behind the cenotaph, and an agreement was reached with the lessee whereby he agreed to curtail his development, subject to compensation.(5)
The cost of the Cenotaph was £2,000. It was unveiled by Earl of Derby on 25 August 1923, and dedicated by the Rev. Canon Rowntree, Rector of Stretford.
580 men of Stretford who fell in WWI, and the men and women who fell in WWII.
On plinth: 1914-1918
Either side of column:
IN MEMORY OF THE HEROIC DEAD
Other side: THEY DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE
PMSA recording information