Throughout history, people (almost wholly men) have been being killed in warfare. Before the 1914-18 "Great War" (World War 1), more prosperous families may have raised memorials to their own war dead (and, indeed, Christ Church has an example from each of the Zulu and Boer Wars - as noted below - as well as a couple from WW1).
The wholly unprecedented scale of WW1 and the impact that the loss of the large numbers killed had on the towns and villages from which they had come gave rise to a new determination in communities to commemorate the locals who had given their lives. There was a similar imperative following WW2.
However, there was no central co-ordination of such memorials, so their type varies widely from place to place: the one unifying strand being to commemorate by name all those who had fallen. As in many other towns and Boroughs, Epsom and Ewell has over-arching civic memorials, but there are more local memorials in a number of other places and, like many parish churches, Christ Church Epsom Common has WW1 & WW2 memorials for its parishioners.
ZULU WAR 1879← Click on this link for information about Christ Church's stained glass window and plaque in memory of Lt Col Francis Vernon Northey who, aged 42, died in South Africa on 6 April 1879 from wounds during a battle in the Zulu War.
BOER WAR (1899-1902)← Click on this link for information about the memorial in Christ Church to Brevet Major Frederick Dymoke Murray who, aged 30, was killed on 30 October 1901 in the Battle of Bakenlaagte.
FIRST WORLD WAR (1914-18)← Click on this link for information about Christ Church's memorial to parishioners who died during the "Great War", from which there are links to the 57 so named.
SECOND WORLD WAR (1939-40)← Click on this link for information about Christ Church's memorial to parishioners who died during WW2, from which there are links to the 58 so named.