Lemington War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Lemington Cemetery, Tewkesbury Road, Lemington, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE15 8UZ


Ordnance survey map of Lemington War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Lemington Cemetery, Tewkesbury Road, Lemington, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE15 8UZ

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

Newcastle upon Tyne (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1921.

Reasons for Designation

Lemington War Memorial, which stands in Lemington Cemetery, 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 made in the First World War; * Architectural interest: an imposing and intricately ornamented memorial cross in the Celtic style; * Degree of survival: unusually the memorial has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent.


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 Lemington 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 30 April 1921 by Major General Sir Percy Wilkinson, and dedicated by the Rural Dean, Reverend CE Little. It was sculpted by R Whitehouse of Newcastle and paid for through a memorial fund, and commemorates 75 servicemen and one Friends’ Ambulance Unit volunteer, Walter Messer, who died in the First World War. The Friends’ Ambulance Unit, chiefly staffed by registered conscientious objectors, was a voluntary ambulance service founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers). The Unit provided more than 1,000 men in the First World War and also operated between 1939 and 1959. Messer, a Quaker whose father was a leading local medical officer, died in France driving his ambulance whilst a German air attack was underway.

On the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 County Series map for Northumberland, published in 1951, the memorial is shown circa 70m to the east, at the southern end of the cemetery’s main access route. At some point it was moved out of the roadway and re-erected in a traffic-free area.


The memorial stands at the southern side of Lemington Cemetery close to the path. In Glencoe granite, the circa 5m tall monument takes the form of a Celtic cross rising from a substantial tapering pedestal. The pedestal stands on a two-stage base. The front face of the wheel-head and upper part of the cross shaft are decorated with carved interlace patterns.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the pedestal reads IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING/ INHABITANTS OF LEMINGTON, WHO LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES FOR KING AND COUNTRY IN/ THE GREAT WAR 1914-18 with names recorded below and on the pedestal sides.

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, 27 July 2017.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission, accessed 16/08/2016 from http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/617510/MESSER,%20WALTER
Gill, J.J. (1915) "The Annual monitor for 1916 Being an Obituary of the members of the Society of Friends in Great Britain and Ireland From October 1, 1914 to September 30, 1915” [Internet Archive], accessed 16/08/2016 from https://archive.org/details/annualmonitororo104alex
North East War Memorials Project, accessed 16/08/2016 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=7863
Quakers in Britain, accessed 16/08/2016 from http://www.quaker.org.uk/about-quakers/our-history/quakers-and-wwi
War Memorials Online, accessed 27 July 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/249837
War Memorials Register, accessed 8 February 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/34560


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

End of official listing

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