Corsham War Memorials
The town has two war memorials. The WW2 memorial is at the Garden of Remembrance while the town’s main War Memorial which features the names of those who lost their lives in both World Wars and is the focus of the town’s Remembrance Day commemorations is on Lacock Road.
Garden of Remembrance
The Garden of Remembrance, on the corner of Stokes Road and Station Road, is home to Corsham’s Second World War memorial. (The names on the memorial were added to the war memorial on Lacock Road in the 1980s.)
The memorial to the 43 men the parish lost in the war was unveiled on 1 November 1947 by the then Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Less than three weeks later, as HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, he married Princess Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey.
Philip came to Corsham as an instructor to HMS Royal Arthur, a Royal Navy leadership training establishment, and the ceremony to open the garden and unveil the memorial was his first public engagement. The land for the Garden of Remembrance had been gifted to the town by two pillars of the Corsham community: Agnes Tennant and Laura Rigden. They asked that it was “developed as a garden of fragrant memory for those who, between 1939 and 1945, paid the supreme sacrifice.”
On 1 November 2021, as a memorial to His Royal Highness following his passing, at the age of 99, earlier that year, an English oak was planted at the Garden of Remembrance. Council Chairman Cllr Steve Abbott was joined by the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire (the Queen’s representative in the county), Sarah Rose Troughton to plant the tree as part of a special ceremony. The oak was also registered as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, a tree-planting initiative to mark the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
The War Memorial
Corsham’s war memorial, remembering those from the Corsham parish who lost their lives in two World Wars, stands on Lacock Road. It is the focal point of the annual Remembrance Day parade and service each November.
Erected in 1921, the memorial was funded – as so many across the country at that time – by local subscriptions.
Originally a memorial to those who fell during the First World War, the names of those from the parish who lost their lives in the Second World War were added in the 1980s.
In recent times, the memorial has been refurbished and the names repainted. In 2014, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, two commemorative benches were installed in the garden area at the War Memorial, which is maintained by volunteers from the Royal British Legion’s Corsham branch.