Nuneaton War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1438676
Date first listed:
17-Oct-2016
Statutory Address:
Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 5TU

Map

Ordnance survey map of Nuneaton War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 5TU

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

County:
Warwickshire
District:
Nuneaton and Bedworth (District Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SP3635091440

Summary

First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Nuneaton War Memorial, which stands in Riversley Park, 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: a substantial and imposing memorial cross.

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 the country. 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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Nuneaton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the town and district who lost their lives in the First World War.

Replacing a temporary memorial that had been erected in May 1918, the memorial in Riversley Park was unveiled on 14 November 1920. It had cost £500 and commemorated more than 600 men who died in the conflict. At a later date a panel was added to the memorial recording the names of a further 55 combatants. Two guns that flanked the memorial were removed in the Second World War scrap drive. A dedication marking the town’s Second World War losses was added, although no names from that period are recorded on the memorial.

Details

The pink granite memorial stands in the northern part of Riversley Park, aligned with Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery (not listed) and the Boer War memorial. It takes the form of a tall Celtic cross with five hemispherical bosses on the cross head. The staged foot of the cross shaft rises from a large tapering plinth, square on plan. The plinth’s battered foot stands on three low steps of a different stone. The bottom step carries a low ornamental rail of twisted iron, painted black.

The front face of the plinth is ornamented with a wreath suspended from a ribbon, carved in relief, below which the principal dedicatory inscription reads: IN MEMORY OF THE BRAVE MEN/ OF NUNEATON AND NEIGHBOURHOOD/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR/ KING & COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF ALL/ WHO FELL IN THE WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945/ “THEIR NAMES SHALL LIVE FOR EVERMORE.”

The commemorated names are recorded on the remaining faces of the plinth, on dark stone plaques inserted into the plinth, with to the rear an inscription reading: “THEY WROUGHT TO SAVE/ US & TO SAVE US DIED.” This line was taken from the temporary memorial that preceded the monument in the park.



This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 17 January 2017.

Sources

Websites
Nuneaton World War One Roll of Honour, accessed 11/08/2016 from http://branches.britishlegion.org.uk/media/3991472/ww1-for-web.pdf
Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire Local and Family History Website, accessed 11/08/2016 from http://www.nuneatonhistory.com/world-war-one.html
War Memorials Register, accessed 17 January 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/59776
War Memorials Trust, War Memorials Online, accessed 11/08/2016 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/node/161582
War Memorials Trust, War Memorials Online, accessed 11/08/2016 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/node/66313

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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