Kemerton War Memorial
List Entry Summary
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
Name: Kemerton War Memorial
List entry Number: 1445832
High Street, Kemerton, Worcestershire, GL20 7JE
The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District Type: District Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first listed: 16-May-2017
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
List entry Description
Summary of Building
First World War memorial designed by Sir Herbert Baker FRIBA RA, unveiled 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Kemerton War Memorial, which stands in the High Street, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet elegant memorial cross built in a regional stone;
* Architect: by the nationally renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker FRIBA RA (1862-1946), who designed a number of memorials at home and abroad;
* Group value: with the nearby Lindum House and an adjoining shop (Grade II-listed).
The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
One such memorial was raised at Kemerton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker FRIBA RA and built by Messrs ET Taylor (of Tewkesbury), assisted by Mr A Stanley, a mason from Kemerton. It was unveiled by Lady Norton on 9 January 1921, in commemoration of 20 local servicemen who had died.
In his early work for the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission Baker made a proposal for a cross to stand in all of the Commission’s cemeteries, but a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield was chosen. Although the Commission’s architects were free to use crosses of their own choice within the cemeteries that they designed, the Blomfield cross proved to be the universal choice. Baker, nevertheless, used variants of his cross design for a number of English war memorials including that at Kemerton, where the design is adapted from an ancient village cross in Laycock. Following the Second World War the names of seven men who died in that conflict were added. The memorial was conserved in 2015 with the help of grant aid from War Memorials Trust.
Sir Herbert Baker FRIBA RA (1862-1946) was born, and died, in Cobham, his English home. Articled to Arthur Baker in 1881, he was Assistant to Messrs Ernest George and Peto (1886-90) and attended the Royal Academy Schools. During the 1890s he was in South Africa, designing the Prime Ministerial residence ‘Groote Schuur’ and many private residences as well as government buildings following the South African union. From 1912 he collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens in India on New Dehli. From 1917 to 1928 Baker was one of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission principal architects, for whom he designed 113 cemeteries on the Western Front including Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. He was also responsible for four Memorials to the Missing including those to the South Africans at Delville Wood and the Indians at Neuve Chapelle. He designed 24 war memorials in England. During the inter-war years his work at home included South Africa House (Grade II*), Rhodes House (Grade II*) and, his last major public commission, the Bank of England (Grade I).
The memorial stands in the High Street, at a road junction in the village centre in close proximity to the Grade II-listed Lindum House and Adjoining Shop. It is built in peagrit-texture limestone from the Box Quarry (Minchinhampton) and from Leckhampton Quarry. The memorial takes the form of a tall Latin cross; the cross shaft is octagonal in section, and there are small cusps in the angled corners of the cross head. The moulded foot of the cross shaft stands on a plinth in the form of an octagonal drum with a shallow circular head. The plinth is raised on a three-stepped base.
An inscription GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS 1914 + 1919 is carved in relief around the circular head of the plinth. The commemorated First World War names are recorded on the faces of the plinth, with the additional dedication IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF THOSE WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE/ WAR OF 1939-1945 and Second World War names.
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 6 June 2017.
War Memorials Online, accessed 6 June 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/165773
War Memorials Register, accessed 6 June 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/32460
Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic, 15 January 1921, p3, 5
Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic, 2 August 1919, p3
Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic, 29 January 1921, p3
Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic, 5 July 1919, p7
Gloucester Echo, 10 January 1921, p1
National Grid Reference: SO9461137201
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End of official listing