First World War memorial, unveiled 1922, with later additions for the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Whickham War Memorial, which stands at the junction of Church Green and Front Street, 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 simple memorial wall in the Classical style ornamented with symbols including wreaths and a reversed sword;
* Group value: with a number of listed structures including 20, Front Street (Grade II) and the Church of St Mary (Grade I).
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 Whickham 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 foundation stone was laid on 1 April 1922, and the completed memorial unveiled by Colonel RH Carr-Ellison CMG on 19 August of that year. It was dedicated by the Rector, Reverend CE Little. The memorial commemorates 66 local servicemen who died in the First World War. The plot was gifted by Colonel Carr-Ellison. The memorial was designed by JB Renton of Whickham and built by HS Turner of Gateshead. Following the Second World War the names of 37 men who died in that conflict were added. Seven further names have been recorded on the monument.
The memorial stands in a paved area at the junction of Church Green and Front Street, in close proximity to a number of listed buildings including 20, Front Street (Grade II) and the Church of St Mary (Grade I). Built in Creetown Granite, the c4m tall monument takes the form of a corniced wall with a central, semi-circular, pediment. The wall is raised on a two-stage base, the lower stage of which is rough-hewn. The whole stands on a low step and platform, rectangular on plan.
The central section of the wall under the pediment projects slightly to front and rear. At the top of this section a cross is carved in low relief to the front face with, below, a scroll. The scroll records the principal dedicatory inscription, reading TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN/ MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THE/ VILLAGE OF WHICKHAM/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919./ THEY DIED FOR LIBERTY AND/ HONOUR. Below this has been added SECOND WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945 with, below that, LEST WE FORGET.
The commemorated First World War names are recorded on the front face of the wall to either side of the central section. Wreaths are carved in low relief at the top of the wall sides, with seven names listed on the south-east face. To the rear, a wreath is carved in low relief at the top of the central section with a reversed sword below. The Second World War names are recorded to the rear either side of the central section. The memorial’s construction and unveiling is recorded on the base, to the rear: FOUNDATION STONE LAID 1ST APRIL 1922/ AND/ MEMORIAL UNVEILED 19TH AUGUST 1922/ BY/ COL R.H. CARR ELLISON C.M.G.
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, 6 March 2017.