Whitfield War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Holy Trinity churchyard, A686, Whitfield, Northumberland, NE47 8LR


Ordnance survey map of Whitfield War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Holy Trinity churchyard, A686, Whitfield, Northumberland, NE47 8LR

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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
Plenmeller with Whitfield
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial by HL Hicks ARIBA, unveiled 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Whitfield War Memorial, which stands in Holy Trinity churchyard, 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 sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: a bold memorial cross incorporating traditional symbols including a wreath and reversed sword; * Group value: with the Grade II*-listed Church of the Holy Trinity.


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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at Whitfield 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 in December 1920 by Lt-Gen Sir Percy Wilkinson, in commemoration of 12 local servicemen who died in the First World War. Designed by Mr HL Hicks ARIBA of Newcastle, it was paid for through public subscription. Following the Second World War a new dedication was added to the memorial to mark the safe return of all the village’s soldiers who fought in that conflict.

HL Hicks ARIBA (c1881-1947) was articled to Messrs Hicks and Charlewood, his father’s firm, c1848. He started independent practice in 1908 in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was responsible for war memorials at St Andrews, Corbridge, and St John’s, Wansbeck.


The memorial stands in an enclosure in the churchyard of the Church of the Holy Trinity (Grade II*-listed), overlooking the main road running through West Allendale. The enclosure is walled to the front with central gates, and a curved hedge to the rear. Just over 3m tall, the memorial takes the form of a wheel-head cross, octagonal in section, with a wreath carved in low relief on the cross head. A reversed sword is carved in low relief on the cross face. The large moulded cross shaft foot stands on an octagonal plinth, which stands on a stepped base.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the cross shaft foot reads IN MEMORY OF THOSE/ FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES IN THE GREAT/ WAR 1914-1919. Commemorated names are recorded on three faces of the plinth, organised by regiment. The Second World War inscription runs around the plinth’s base, reading GIVING THANKS/ TO/ ALMIGHTY GOD/ FOR THE/ SAFE RETURN/ OF THOSE/ FROM THIS PARISH WHO/ SERVED /THEIR KING AND COUNTRY/ IN THE/ WAR 1939-1945.

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 February 2017.


Books and journals
Felstead, A, Directory of British Architects 1834 to 1914 Volume 1 A-K, (2001), 902
North East War Memorials Project, accessed 22 December 2016 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=9275
War Memorials Online, accessed 27 February 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/237432
War Memorials Register, accessed 27 February 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/34287


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 is 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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