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Remembering WW1: The different memorials across the Anglia region

Kettering's war memorial is just one of many remembering the First World War Photo: ITV

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, memorials across the region will become the focal point of remembrance.

When the war finished in November of 1918, cities, towns and villages across our region had complete autonomy in deciding how they should remember their dead.

From statues and crosses, to shrines and gardens, our region’s towns and cities honoured their fallen in many different forms.

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

Following the end of the war in November 1918, people in Cambridge erected a statue envisaging the epitome of a handsome young Englishman returning from war. But in reality, nearly 1,500 men from the city did not return from the Great War.

Cambridge's Great War memorial Credit: ITV

Those in Huntingdon erected a statue of a brooding soldier overlooking the market square to remember the 120 men who lost their lives in the war.

The statue was sculptured by well-known sculptor Kathleen, the widow of Captain Robert Falcon Scott who was famed for his expeditions to Antarctica.

“It’s a significant piece of history. It’s also a significant piece of street art. And sometimes our towns are so bland and boring. We need sculpture, we need fountains, we need this sort of thing to make our towns come alive.

And as a centrepiece to the market square, town hall on one side, great houses around it, the church on the other it becomes a centre piece of commemoration day.”

– Richard Meredith, Huntingdon Civic Society
The brooding soldier overlooking Huntingdon market square Credit: ITV

After the war, villages such as Pidley and Warboys in Cambridgeshire and Broughton near Milton Keynes chose to erect crosses of remembrance.

In the small village of Exning in Suffolk, a cross of remembrance was erected to honour no less than 80 men who lost their lives from the small Suffolk village alone.

In Kings Ripton, Cambridgeshire a cross was erected to remember just two soldiers who died during the war.

Cross of remembrance in Exning village Credit: ITV

At the other end of the spectrum, a shrine was built into the wall of Ely’s cathedral gardens. It takes the form of a domed alcove within the rough stone wall to the Almonry.

A shrine was built into the wall of Ely’s cathedral gardens following WWI Credit: ITV

Northampton remember the huge death toll over the four year war with a large memorial in the city centre.

The memorial in Northampton's centre stands proud Credit: ITV

Islip in Northamptonshire created a memorial garden to create something for the living as well as for those who died.

Memorial stone pillars flank the entrance to a park residents are still proud of.

“It’s well used. It’s great to see that it’s a proper living memorial to something that was such a tragedy."

– Bob Lymm, Islip Parish Council
Islip's memorial garden Credit: ITV

Regardless of grandeur and size, the First World War memorials across the Anglia region hold great poignance today and are central in remembering those involved in the fighting.

Watch Matthew Hudson’s full report here:

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