Cottenham War Memorial – A fishy tale

UPDATE: It’s definitely not a dolphin in Cottenham.

Who else has noticed the large “fish” leaning head down against the back of the legs of the serviceman featured in Cottenham’s War Memorial? Friend of the blog Patrick Coughlan certainly has and he wonders what it’s all about..

According to one web site it perhaps alludes to the designer’s naval past. However, another suggests that it’s not a fish, but a dolphin, a mammal frequently associated with the Grey Funnel Line (the Royal Navy) and marine regiments. Indeed, Cottenham’s war memorial is similar to the one in St John’s Churchyard, Stokesay, Shropshire, which has a large dolphin at the serviceman’s back. Locals there say it is indeed an allusion to the sea but perhaps also to the mythology of dolphins bearing dead heroes in the afterlife.