We are often asked, ‘what is the earliest war memorial in the UK’ and there are a number of different ways to answer this question. One is to look at the earliest commemorated conflict and this is the Roman Occupation from AD 43 to around AD 400.
Although we have four memorials marking this period of British history, they were all erected in modern times. While the Romans constructed memorials in other countries to celebrate their victories, such as Trajan’s Column in Rome, there are no known war memorials from the UK.
One of the modern memorials is this stone tablet at Vindolanda Roman Fort, on Hadrian’s Wall, Northumbria, which remembers the soldiers who served on the Wall.
Other memorials include one at Tower Hill Underground Station, commemorating the Roman Invasion, and a Stone of Remembrance in Burham, Kent, marking the Battle of the Medway in AD 43 where several British tribes were defeated by the invading Roman forces.