The history of the Exning War Memorial is sketchy, but hopefully that can be put right

After the end of World War One, the "Great War" or the "War to End all Wars", there was much discussion in Newmarket as to how best to commemorate the fallen. Many schemes where suggested, a reading room, a sports facility, housing for relatives of the servicemen. Cost, effectiveness, location and funding all were discussed and time sped by. Eventually Exning folk decided enough was enough, they would go their own way, and they did, albeit accepting their parochial share eventually of funds raised in the whole area

About 14 feet high and a base of 7 feet square, it comprises a Celtic cross on a tapering octagonal column on a square plinth, on two steps. Round it is a stone kerb and post and chain barrier. The Memorial was designed by the firm of W.J.Nutty of Cheveley and made of Cornish granite at the cost of 624-12s.6d. Initially it had inscribed upon it the names of 78 casualties, two more were added later (Harry Beeton and Lawrence Earith). In front of a crowd of between 5000 and 7000, the Memorial was unveiled on Sunday 5th June, 1921. The ceremony was carried out by Col.the Hon. Walter Guinness, D.S.O., M.P. and dedicated by Canon Farmilae.

After World War Two a booklet was added, to the south side, carrying the names of 22 servicemen and three civilians who had died through enemy action.

Initially the Memorial was in the centre of the road leading to Landwade, known as The Avenue in the 1920's, the junction of Windmill Hill and Church Street. When modern transport became ever larger, so did the risks to the Memorial and a 30,000 scheme was launched to improve safety at the accident prone junction which involved the re-siting of the war memorial which had been damaged by traffic on a number of occasions. In 1998 War Memorials Trust awarded 175 to the scheme. It was carried out by Ivett & Reed of Cambridge in 2001.

Thanks to Peter Norman we have the following two photographs of the early days of the Memorial

©Cambridge News-Keith Jones


Workmen from Ivett & Reed, Cambridge Monumental Masons, re-building the Memorial.

The book, "Our Exning Heroes", was published in 1919.
Compiled by the vicar of St. Martin's Church, Exning, the Rev. H.P.Brewer, M,A.,B.D. and the curate in charge of St Philip's Church, the Rev. C.R.Farnsworth, M.A.
It was priced at 1/3 (about 6p in current money). One confusion must be cleared up here, the Church referred to as St Philip's was not in Exning, but was in St.Philip's Road, Newmarket, just off Exning Road.
The church currently often referred to as St Philip's was the old Workhouse Chapel and is now actually St Philip's and St. Etheldreda's.
In the late 1980's ,the Chapel (at the front of the old Hospital) was converted back from being a squash court, to a consecrated place of worship.
Many artefacts from the St Philip's Road Church were transferred there. There is a carved wooden Roll of Honour on the wall in this church.

The three photo's of St. Philip's Church following are thanks to Peter Norman, a local archivist and collector of photographic records of Newmarket.

The interior of St Philips Church in 1904 and again in 1987 just before demolition and below the exterior in 1987

The memorial plaque inside St Philip's and St. Etheldreda's CHurch, Exning Road Newmarket can be found under "Other plaques"

on Newmarket's war memorial site