Penge War Memorials
There are five War Memorials in Penge. The principal war memorial is on the high street at the entrance to Penge Recreation Ground. Two others are at Penge Congregational Church and Holy Trinity Church; one is inside the Salvation Army Citadel and another is on outside wall of the corner lodge of the Royal Watermen’s Almshouses.
The High Street War Memorial
The principal war memorial, at the entrance to Penge Recreation Ground, consists of a tall central granite celtic cross, fifteen feet high, with inscriptions of armed forces casualties on rectangular lead plaques around its two-stepped base. In recent years some of the lead plaques have been replaced with identical resin plaques, the originals having been stolen by metal thieves. A wreath, in relief, surrounds the dedicatory inscription of the central plaque. A sword of sacrifice is craved into the front of the cross.
The memorial was unveiled on 25 September 1925. The ceremony was attended by local clergy and dignitaries including Councillor Frances P. Hodes, JP. A dedication was given by the vicar of St John’s church, the Reverend Canon Smyly. 399 names from the armed forces are inscibed as casualities from the first world war. For example, Douglas Murray Hanna is inscribed. He was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915, ten years before the memorial was erected. The war memorial is a nationally-listed Grade 2 building.
In 2014, new rectangular resin plaques listing Penge civilians killed in the second world war were fixed to the curved railings round the memorial. These recent plaques do not form part of the Grade 2 listing. The cross is illuminated at night by electric spotlights embedded in the pavement. There is access to the park on both sides of the memorial.
Ceremonies are held for the war dead each year in November with participation of the vicar from St John’s Church, representatives from the Territorial army, the police, the cadets, the local councilors, the Mayor of Bromley and the voluntary group Penge Partners. The latter were responsible for fundraising for the resin plaques. Penge Partners also initiated a scheme, in November 2017, to fix 375 knitted red poppies on the railings in memory of the totality of Penge personnel who died in both wars.
On March 22, 2018, a pavement plaque was laid in memory of Private Herbert Columbine, V.C., a native of Penge, in a ceremony commemorating his heroic sacrifice in Hervilly Wood, France, on the same date in 1918.
For further information on the memorial and the full list of names see Memorial List of Names
For a newspaper article on the knitted poppies see Hundreds of poppies Surround Penge War Memorial
Penge Congregational War Memorial
A smaller memorial was originally in the garden of the church, facing the high street, again with a central granite cross, commemorating twenty two members of the armed forces who were casualties of the first world war. One of these was a civilian. The memorial was unveiled on 30 April, 1921. The ceremony was attended by friends and relatives of the fallen. This memorial has since been removed but there are boards of honor commemorating the fallen of the two world wars: one inside the church, the other in the side hall.
For more details of the Penge Congegational Church war memorial see Lives of the First World War
Holy Trinity Church War Memorial
This memorial, a tall celtic cross built from Portland stone set on a two-stepped plinth, is in the garden surrounding Holy Trinity Church in Lennard Road. From the 3rd July, 2017, it became a nationally-listed Grade 2 building.
The memorial was erected at as cost of £224.14.4 and was unveiled on 19th February, 1921. The ceremony was attended by the Reverend Canon Henry Arnott and a section of the Grenardier Guards. In 2016 the memorial was cleaned and the inscription recarved.
For more details of the Grade 2 listing, see
Salvation Army War Memorial
This is a small, highly decorative, internal tablet commemorating members of the Salvation Army who were casualities of the first world war. It is not on public display.
Royal Watermen’s Almhouses War Memorial
This is a wreathed plaque on the corner lodge facing the high street.