War Memorials Trust

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Town or City: Longfield
County: Kent
Country: England
WMT Reference Number: WM2082

Value of grant: £250.00
Type of memorial: Freestanding
Type of work: Conservation and repair
Grant scheme: Small Grants Scheme
Year: 2007

UKNIWM reference number: 54511

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Fawkham war memorial cross © Fawkham PC, 2008The war memorial on the village green of Fawkham in north Kent is a rough hewn cross and plinth of Cornish granite with raised lead lettering, mounted on a York stone plinth. It is surrounded by a low chain fence.

In December 2007 War Memorials Trust offered a grant of £250 towards the cleaning of the memorial, repainting the lead lettering, straightening the posts supporting the fence and the concrete edging slabs, cleaning these slabs and re-painting the chain of the fence.

The lettering on one face of the granite plinth reads:

This cross
is placed here in order
that we may never forget

Lt. Col. W.V. Dickinson CMG
Lt. Col. H.R. Beddoes
C. Haygreen E. Haygreen
E. Young H.A. Clarke
and A. Banks

of this parish who died
for our country 1914-1918

Above this, at the bottom of the shaft of the cross, has been added:

George William Booker

Fawkham war memorial cross © Fawkham PC, 2007William Vicris Dickinson came from a military family. He was a member of the Welsh Regiment and a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, an honour given to individuals who have rendered important services in relation to Empire or foreign nations. An assistant adjutant-general at the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters in Rouen, he died in October 1917 at the age of 61.

Two of the men commemorated are brothers; Charley and Ernest Haygreen. Corporal Charley Haygreen, the elder, was in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He landed in France on 31st August 1915, and died in October 1917. His brother, Rifleman Ernest Haygreen, died during a battle of the Ypres Salient in September 1918.

Fawkham war memorial cross © Fawkham PC, 2008One man is commemorated from the Second World War. George William Booker was a member of the 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. During the invasion scare of 1940-41, the battalion was engaged in the defence of the southern coast of Britain. In 1944 they took part in the invasion of Europe landing on Gold Beach during the weekend of 24th/26th June. The weather was bad, and a high tide covered many of the underwater obstacles, preventing amphibious tanks giving the infantry the support they needed. The battalion took part in the capture of Hill 112, an important strategic location; during the battle the area around Hill 112 changed hands many times and thousands of Allied and German troops were killed or wounded. On August 5, the Wiltshires faced an even harder task at Nantes Pincon, a strongly defended hill, 1,200 ft high with steep, rough slopes on the western side. When the attack was launched on the north face, also strongly defended, the Wiltshires' Commanding Officer and three company commanders were killed almost at once, and casualties among the rest of the battalion were high. Pte. Booker died a week after the Allies took Pincon Hill. His battalion went on to cross the Seine, then on into the Netherlands and Germany.

Further information

War Memorials Trust reference WM2082
UK National Inventory of War Memorials: 54511

“The Fifth Battalion The Wiltshire Regiment in North-West Europe -June 1944-May 1945” by Captain J.S.McMath

“Second World War. The Wiltshire Regiment Battalion War Diaries”
Transcripts of the War Diaries for the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 30th Battalions together with extracts from the history of the Regiment have been published by the Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum and are available from the museum's shop at The Wardrobe, 58 The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2EX, England

The 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment was part of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. More information can be found at the homepage of the 43rd Wessex Association.

If you have a concern about this memorial please contact the Trust on conservation@warmemorials.org

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