New Marston War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Marston Road, New Marston, Oxford, OX3 0TX


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Statutory Address:
Marston Road, New Marston, Oxford, OX3 0TX

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

Oxford (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, unveiled on 21 December 1919, with further names added after the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

New Marston War Memorial 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 community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: an ornate and striking cross in Portland stone.


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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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 New Marston 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 New Marston War Memorial was erected in 1919, and was built by Messrs Axtell and Son of Oxford. It was unveiled on 21 December 1919 by Mrs G Herbert Morrell of Headington Hill Hall: the Last Post was sounded and there was a service conducted by the Rev J H Mortimer, Vicar of Marston.

The names of the fallen of the Second World War were later added to the left-hand (north) side of the column.


The memorial stands in a prominent position on the east side of the Marston Road adjacent to St Michael’s Primary School.

It is made of Portland stone and stands to a height of 2.75 metres (but appears higher because of its raised platform). It comprises a plain short cross mounted on a two-stepped plinth, which stands on a large column. Projecting outwards from the top of the column, on each side, is a stone-sculpted arch. Within the recess created by the arch on the front of the memorial is a stone wreath carved in relief.

The column, which is gently tapered, stands on a chamfered plinth, and this in turn stands on a larger two-stepped base. The whole stands on a raised platform of red tiles, reached from the pavement by two sets of three steps, which are flanked by a wall of rough stone blocks.

The front (west facing) side of the column carries the names, ranks, and regiments of the 26 men of New Marston who died in the First World War inscribed into the stone. On the plinth of this front side are the words: THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE / THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED BY THEIR FRIENDS / OF NEW MARSTON.

The left (north-facing) side of the column is inscribed: IN GRATEFUL / REMEMBRANCE / OF THE MEN / FROM THIS VILLAGE / WHO LAID DOWN / THEIR LIVES / IN THE GREAT WARS / 1914–1919.

Following the Second World War, the letter S was added to the word WAR and the following text was added in underneath: AND / 1939–1945 / followed by eleven names. A twelfth name was added onto the chamfered edge of the plinth.

The right (south-facing) side of the column is inscribed: GREATER LOVE / HATH NO / MAN THAN THIS / THAT A MAN / LAY DOWN / HIS LIFE FOR HIS / FRIENDS.

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, 20 February 2017.


War Memorials Online, accessed 20 February 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 21 Sept 2016 from
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 24 December 1919


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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