March – War Memorial

Made of Cornish granite, the town’s war memorial was unveiled in June 1921, commemorating those who had lost their lives during the Great War. The memorial cost £900 to build, the entire sum of which was raised by public subscription. The memorial reads:

“This monument is erected in grateful memory of those men of March who, at the call of King and country, left all that was dear to them. They made the supreme sacrifice that others might live in freedom. Let those that come after see to it that they are not forgotten.”

Present at the unveiling was Captain Colin Coote, who was at the time the MP for the Isle of Ely and he had previously been the MP for Wisbech from 1917 until 1918, when the sitting MP was killed in action. Coote was the MP for the Isle of Ely from 1918 until 1922, then he lost his seat to Norman Coates and he never returned to Parliament. He had been aged just 24 when he entered the House of Commons, but he is perhaps more known for his period as editor of the Daily Telegraph, a role he held from 1950 until 1964. He died in June 1979, at the age of 85.

More names were added following the end of the Second World War and also more recently, when a few years ago some missing names from the First World War were added. There’s a list of the men listed on the memorial available at http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/March.html. Pevsner notes that the sculpture of the soldier is “clumsy”, which seems a little direct….