OXFORDSHIRE AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY WAR MEMORIAL
Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1369419
Date first listed: 28-Jun-1972
Statutory Address: Rose Hill, Oxford
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Statutory Address: Rose Hill, Oxford
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Oxford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 53389 04020
First World War memorial, 1923, by Sir Edwin Lutyens with later additions for the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry War Memorial, Cowley, is listed at Grade II for the following principle reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this regiment, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architect: by the nationally renowned architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944), who designed extant 58 memorials at home and abroad including the Cenotaph in Whitehall; * Design: a simple yet elegant obelisk, the regimental badges immediately announcing the identity of those commemorated.
It was originally proposed that the regimental memorial should be sited close to its barracks in Bullingdon Green but it was not possible to acquire a suitable site. Instead, it was built on land donated by Christchurch College on Rose Hill. The location was specifically chosen so that the memorial could be seen against the sky.
The memorial cost £878 10s and was unveiled on 11 November 1923 by the regiment’s colonel Major-General Sir John Hanbury-Williams GCVO, KCB, CMG. An additional inscription was added after the Second World War.
Sir Edwin Lutyens OM RA (1869-1944) was the leading English architect of his generation. Before the First World War his reputation rested on his country houses and his work at New Delhi, but during and after the war he became the pre-eminent architect for war memorials in England, France and the British Empire. While the Cenotaph in Whitehall (London) had the most influence on other war memorials, the Thiepval Arch was the most influential on other forms of architecture. He designed the Stone of Remembrance which was placed in all Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries and in some cemeteries in England, including some with which he was not otherwise associated.
The memorial, on the east side of Rose Hill at its junction with Church Cowley Road, is an obelisk with the regimental badge carved in relief on two faces. A description from the time (perhaps by Lutyens) describes an ‘obelisk on a moulded pedestal with a plain double sur-base, rising centrally upon a surround of three steps; the first and third being 2ft 6in wide, twice the width of the second step and covering an area each way of 16ft 10¼ in each way. Total height 28ft 11in.’ Inscriptions on the base read:
West: TO THE/ GLORIOUS MEMORY/ OF 5878 OF ALL RANKS/ OF THE/ OXFORDSHIRE/ AND/ BUCKINGHAMSHIRE/ LIGHT INFANTRY/ WHO FELL IN/ THE GREAT WAR
North: MCM/ XIV
East: TO THE/ GLORIOUS MEMORY/ OF 1408 ALL RANKS/ OF THE/ OXFORDSHIRE/ AND/ BUCKINGHAMSHIRE/ LIGHT INFANTRY/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN/ THE SECOND WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945
South: MCM/ XIX
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 26/10/2015
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, 11 January 2017.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 245758
Legacy System: LBS
Books and journals
Skelton, T, Gliddon, G, Lutyens and the Great War, (2008), 1, 89, 167
War Memorials Online, accessed 11 January 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/219143
War Memorials Register, accessed 11 January 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/31244
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing