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The land for the Ilford War Memorial Gardens was purchased in the early 1920s from the proceeds of a public appeal to provide a fitting memorial for the Ilford men killed in the First World War.

Following a referendum, local people decided that most of the money collected should be used to build a Children's Ward for the Ilford Emergency Hospital (where Memorial Heights residential estate now stands), together with a Memorial Garden, a Monument and a Memorial Hall to record the names of the war dead.

 

The present site was chosen because it adjoined the hospital and the War Memorial Committee wanted to provide a fitting place and surroundings for the Borough's War Memorial.

 

The war memorial monument (featuring a bronze figure of a soldier by the sculptor, Newbury A Trent RBS) was unveiled on 11 November 1922 but it took almost five years before the remainder of the project was completed.

This photograph was taken at the original unveiling ceremony, led by the Duchess of Argyll on 11 November 1922

The Memorial Hall and Children's Ward were opened by Lady Patricia Ramsey, formerly HRH Princess Patricia*, on 27 June 1927.  The Hall was designed to form the entrance to the Children's Ward but does not appear to have been used for that purpose.  For many years, few people knew of the existence of the Memorial Hall as it was part of the hospital and separated from the Memorial Gardens.   But the closure of the hospital in 1992 and a campaign by local groups to preserve the memorial brought it to public attention.    In 1995, the Memorial Hall and the Monument were added to the statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic interest (Grade II).  

 

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