Runcorn War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1437933
Date first listed:
15-Sep-2016
Statutory Address:
Memorial Gardens, Junction of Moughland Lane, Weston Road and Greenway Road, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 4PS

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Memorial Gardens, Junction of Moughland Lane, Weston Road and Greenway Road, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 4PS

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District:
Halton (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SJ5089982091

Summary

First World War memorial, 1920 by James Wilding LRIBA, with additions for later conflicts.

Reasons for Designation

Runcorn War Memorial, which stands in the memorial garden, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20 and C21; * Architectural interest: a tall and imposing memorial cross standing on a wide platform designed for ceremonial use defined by a memorial wall to the rear.

History

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 Runcorn 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 unveiled on 14 November 1920 by the Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Chester, Colonel William Bromley Davenport, and the Chairman of Runcorn Urban District Council, RH Posnett. It was designed by James Wilding: the original intention was for a bronze memorial but Wilding argued that this would not stand the atmosphere, so it was decided that the memorial would be made of granite supplied by Kit Hill Quarry, Callington (Cornwall). The memorial commemorates 361 local servicemen who died in the First World War. It was re-dedicated on 7 November 1948 following the addition of more name panels to commemorate those 119 who died in the Second World War.

On 3 August 2014, a bronze statue (not listed) of Thomas Alfred Jones VC DCM (1880-1956) was erected in the memorial garden opposite the monument as part of the First World War Centenary Commemoration.

James Wilding LRIBA (1863-1932), who lived and worked in Runcorn, was also responsible for Runcorn Victoria Hospital, the Carnegie Library (Grade II-listed), and the Runcorn Baths.

Details

The memorial stands in a garden to the south of the junction of Moughland Lane, Weston Road and Greenway Road and is approached from the roadway by a set of steps. The cross takes the form of a three-stepped octagonal base supporting a plinth, upon which stands a Latin cross, the shaft of which stands c3.5m tall. The foot of the cross shaft is clasped by scrolled brackets.

The dedication inscribed on the front face of the plinth reads FOR/ OUR/ SAKE. The inscription on the face of the plinth to the immediate left of the front face reads 1914: the inscription on the face of the plinth to the immediate right reads 1918. The inscription on the front face of the upper-most step reads 1939-1945.

The memorial cross stands on a broad paved platform, in front of a coursed and coped stone wall bearing plaques that record the commemorated names from the First World War. The plaque to the extreme left reads MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US/ (NAMES). The plaque left of centre reads OBEYING THEIR COUNTRY'S CALL, SERVING HUMANITY, THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR THE CAUSE OF TRUTH, OF JUSTICE AND FREEDOM IN THE GREAT WAR/ (NAMES). The central plaque continues THESE, AT THE CALL OF KING AND COUNTRY, LEFT ALL THAT WAS DEAR/ TO THEM, ENDURED HARDNESS, FACED DANGER, AND FINALLY PASSED/ OUT OF THE SIGHT OF MEN BY THE PATH OF DUTY AND SELF-SACRIFICE,/ GIVING UP THEIR OWN LIVES THAT OTHERS MIGHT LIVE IN FREEDOM/ LET THOSE WHO CAME AFTER SEE TO IT THAT THEIR NAMES ARE NOT FORGOTTEN/ (NAMES). The plaque right of centre reads THEY SOUGHT THE GLORY OF THEIR COUNTRY/ AND FOUND THE GLORY OF THEIR GOD/ (NAMES) and the plaque to the extreme right reads AS DYING AND BEHOLD WE LIVE/ (NAMES).

Plaques recording the Second World War names have been added to the wall piers. A further dark granite stone has been inset into the pavement in front of the memorial cross, reading IN REMEMBRANCE/ OF THOSE/ FALLEN IN OTHER CONFLICTS under which seven men are listed with the theatre in which they died



This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 26 January 2017.

Sources

Websites
War Memorials Online, accessed 26 January 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/145530
War Memorials Register, accessed 21/07/2016 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/58
Other
Collection D5944/1 “Records Relating to Runcorn War Memorial” held at Cheshire Archives

Legal

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

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