Norwich War Memorial

Norwich War Memorial
United Kingdom
The War Memorial outside City Hall in Norwich (geograph 2488759).jpg
For servicemen from Norwich killed in the First World War
Location52°37′42″N 1°17′33″E / 52°37′42″N 1°17′33″E / 52.628269; 1.292567
Designed bySir Edwin Lutyens
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameWar Memorial and War Memorial Garden Terrace
Designated30 September 1983
Reference no.1051857

Norwich War Memorial (also known as Norwich City War Memorial or Norwich Cenotaph) is a First World War memorial in Norwich in Eastern England. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the last of his eight cenotaphs to be erected in England. Prior to Lutyens' involvement, several abandoned proposals had been made for commemorating Norwich's war dead, and by 1926 the newly elected lord mayor was determined to see the construction of a memorial before he left office. He established an appeal to raise funds for local hospitals in memory of the dead as well as a physical monument. He commissioned Lutyens, who designed an empty tomb (cenotaph) atop a low screen wall from which protrudes a Stone of Remembrance. Bronze flambeaux at either end can burn gas to emit a flame. Lutyens also designed a roll of honour, on which the names of the city's dead are listed, which was installed in Norwich Castle in 1931.

A local disabled veteran unveiled the memorial on 9 October 1927. It was moved from its original location to become the centrepiece of a memorial garden between the market and the City Hall in 1938. The structure on which the garden is built was found to be unstable in 2004 and the memorial was closed off pending repairs which began in 2008. The work was completed in 2011, during which time the memorial was restored, having fallen into disrepair while it was closed off, and rotated to face the city hall rather than the market place. It was rededicated on Armistice Day 2011 and is today a grade II* listed building. In 2015, it became part of a "national collection" of Lutyens' war memorials.


The Norfolk Regiment was one of the first to enter combat after the declaration of the First World War. The 1st battalion was stationed in Belfast, from where they were dispatched to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The 1st Norfolks participated at the Battle of Mons, one of the first major engagements of the war, in late August 1914. The 2nd battalion, based in India, sailed for the Middle East to fight against the Ottoman Empire in Mesopotamia (Iraq).[1] The Norfolks had a third battalion, part of the Territorial Force, which was first deployed for home defence around eastern England, and raised three more pals battalions. Norwich, the county town, raised another three companies of Royal Engineers. Approximately 33,000 men served overseas with the Norfolks, though many more Norfolk men joined other regiments.[2]

In the aftermath of the war and its unprecedented casualties, thousands of war memorials were built across Britain. Among the most prominent designers of memorials was Sir Edwin Lutyens, described by Historic England as "the leading English architect of his generation".[3] Lutyens designed the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, which became the focus for the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations; the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, the largest British war memorial anywhere in the world; and the Stone of Remembrance, which appears in all large Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries and in several of Lutyens' civic memorials, including Norwich's.[3]