Essex Regiment Memorial Homes

In 1902 at the conclusion of the Boer War there were discussions up and down the country as regards memorials to the fallen. One of the ideas to be floated was that of memorial cottages for disabled soldiers.

Colonel Thomas Stock who was in command at Warley led a local campaign to raise funds for memorial cottages at Warley in memory of the officers and men of the Essex Regiment who fell in South Africa.

His campaign was supported by local subscription and from public donations so that by January 1904 nearly £30,000 was raised or promised  in the Country which with local donations amounted to £700 in Essex.

Two semi detached cottages, containing 5 rooms each at within the grounds of Warley Asylum at Woodman Road just off Warley Road, Warley  were purchased for £600 with an additional £300 being invested to provide finance for future expenses relating to the cottages.

Agreement was reached that one soldier from the two Essex Regular Infantry Battalions would each be entitled to one of the cottages on a rent free basis.

One of the first disabled soldiers to be housed was Sergeant Bartholomew Gordon of the 2nd Essex ( 56th West Essex) Battalion.

Another well known occupant was Sergeant Edward Thomas England of the 1st Essex (44th East Essex) Battalion  who was a veteran of the Indian Mutiny and the China Campaigns who died in 1925 at the age of 88 years.

 The occupancy of the houses was controlled by the Hon Secretary of the Essex Regimental Association at Warley Barracks who advertises locally whenever there was a vacancy inviting applications from Essex Regiment Pensioners. Age, income and capacity for employment were all taken into consideration when allotment was being made.

The use of these houses continued until both the site of Warley Hospital and the barracks were sold for housing development.