To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM
At first glance the Rolvenden war memorial does not seem to show the hand of Lutyens and is unlike any of the others that he designed. Yet the authorship is clear, being fully documented in the minutes of the village’s war memorial committee.
In a familiar pattern to what was happening elsewhere, a group of local residents met shortly after the armistice and selected as chairman, a Lutyens client (Harold “Jack” Tennant, for whom the architect had designed the nearby Great Maytham).
The Committee’s archives chronicle a growing frustration in contacting Lutyens (who was spending a lot of time in India) and as well as dealing with local opposition to the committee’s preferred site, adjacent to the Church – at one time a wooden mock-up was erected only for it to be moved to another site overnight!
However the Committee pressed ahead with their original intention and, after a tender, awarded the building contract to Messrs Wallis of Maidstone for £230.
The memorial was unveiled on 8 November 1922 by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Location: St Mary’s Church, Rolvenden, Kent, TN1 4LT