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Laindon War Memorial

Laindon War Memorial War Memorial, Laindon War Memorial, High Road, Laindon
Location: High Road
Photographer: J.C. Photography
Year of photo: 16/05/2013
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: Laindon War Memorial.
Location: High Road
Photographer: J.C. Photography
Year of photo: 16/05/2013
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: Laindon War Memorial. Note blue hoarding in the background where Clock House use to stand.
Location: High Road
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 16/05/2013
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: War Memorial with George V Jubilee Bowl in the background.

The Laindon War Memorial originally stood in the grounds of a hall used by the British Legion in High Road, Laindon. It was unveiled on Saturday 21st September, 1935 commemorating those that died in the Great War (1914-1918).

It stood set back facing the High Road to the right of, though inline, with the front of the hall in its own space on a layered concrete plinth. The only additional decoration was an ornate chain fence supported by posts around the edge of the plinth.

Its design is a simple circular column of blue pear Aberdeen granite topped with an ornate flat base upon which stands a cross.

Around 1975 the hall and grounds, which stood next to the Laindon School, were sold - two detached houses now occupy the site - and the war memorial was removed from the site and stored, according to popular belief, at Basildon Council's Barleylands depot. It was eventually resited in the High Road in front of the Laindon Shopping Centre. Basildon Council are now responsible for its maintenance.

A memorial plaque bearing the names of those that fell in the two world wars is also thought to have existed and possibly removed at the same time as the memorial. So far no positive information has come to light to confirm a plaque, or if it existed its current whereabouts.

The non-denominational memorial commemorates both world wars and is inscribed in capital letters:




1914 - 1918


1939 - 1945





The memorial does not have any individual names engraved.

Presuming that part or all of the inscription with the exception of the Second World War years was present at the unveiling, as yet, no date has been established to determine when the additional dates or wording was added.

Although originally sited within the grounds of the British Legion Hall; as it became known, the war memorial was not the property of the Laindon branch of the British Legion but presented as a gift to the people of the district by Mr. Albert Symes of Primrose Hill, Brentwood, who founded around 1892 the respected building & civil engineering company A.E. Symes Ltd, then based at Brentwood and Carpenters Road, Stratford.

The opening ceremony was performed by one of Mr. Symes daughters, Mrs Ivy McLachlan, aided by the Rector of Laindon, Rev. Michael Lake and Rev. Tom Shepherd, of the Laindon Baptist Church.

In 2010 Basildon Council announced plans to move the war memorial again to a new site as the Laindon Shopping Centre at that time was expected at some future point to be redeveloped. Proposals for its resiting were considered; the choice of location being between either the British Legion's new headquarters at The Triangle, Langdon Hills or another suitable site in High Road, Laindon. It was decided that the memorial would remain in Laindon and eventually move to a new site in High Road adjacent to Worthing Road. As an interim measure Swan Housing, subsequent owners of the former Laindon Centre site, later had the memorial moved to a new temporary site on the remains of the former centre's rear car park. It was unveiled on 16th August, 2019. At its new location the Basildon Heritage Group compiled a comprehensive list of both Great War and Second World War casualities from the Laindon area which are displayed on an adjacent section of fence hoarding. When the former centre's replacement - Laindon Place - is completed the memorial, along with the Royal Silver Jubilee Fountain (itself dating from 1935 and then located adjacent to the memorial) in a change of plans, is expected to be resited within the new complex in view of High Road in the centre of a garden of roses.

Basildon has two more war memorials. These can be found at Howard Park, Pitsea and Clay Hill Road, Vange.

Page added: 2013

Other points of interest

1) Albert Eli Symes, b.1872 - d.13/10/1936, age 64.

2) MoMart, the Queen’s own fine art and antiquities removal experts, were appointed by Swan Housing to undertake its removal.

Text researched and written by William Cox, 2013 with revisions 2023.
Copyright © 2013, 2023, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

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