Fartown and Birkby war memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1454229
Date first listed:
07-Mar-2018
Statutory Address:
Norman Park, Birkby, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD2 2UD

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Norman Park, Birkby, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD2 2UD

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

District:
Kirklees (Metropolitan Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SE1408218401

Summary

First World War memorial, 1921, by Hart, Son, Peard and Co Ltd. A Second World War inscription was added later.

Reasons for Designation

Fartown and Birkby War Memorial, constructed in 1921 by Hart, Son, Peard and Co Ltd, 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 conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* it has a distinguished design incorporating a striking life-size statue of an infantry soldier in full fighting kit poignantly looking out over Norman Park.

History

A war memorial was first proposed for Fartown and Birkby ward in August 1917 before the end of the First World War and a committee was established to decide on the form and location of the memorial. The memorial was funded by public subscriptions in the two districts, which raised £1,370. It was constructed in 1921 and produced by Hart, Son, Peard and Co Ltd of London and Birmingham.

The memorial was unveiled by General Sir Ian Hamilton GCB GCMG MGDSO on 2 April 1921 who was accompanied by the Mayor of Huddersfield, Alderman J A Wolven and other dignitaries. A guard of honour was provided by the 5th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. An additional plaque commemorating those who lost their lives during the Second World War and in all subsequent conflicts was added later. The war memorial was re-dedicated in 2005.

After a number of thefts the memorial's surviving bronze plaques were removed in 2008 and all the plaques replaced in polished granite.

The memorial is located on an area of higher ground on the eastern side of Norman Park on a tarmacked plateau at the top of a flight of stone and tarmac steps; its elevated position overlooking the park.

Details

First World War memorial, 1921, by Hart, Son, Peard and Co Ltd. Second World War inscription added later.

MATERIALS: granite with bronze statue and polished-granite plaques

DESCRIPTION: Fartown and Birkby War Memorial consists of a tall granite pedestal with a tapering shaft with panelled sides and topped by a cornice, surmounted by a life-size bronze figure of an infantry soldier in full fighting kit standing at ease with his hands placed on top of an upright rifle resting on the ground. The whole is set upon a two-stepped platform of the same granite.

Each of the pedestal's four panelled sides originally had bronze plaques bearing a dedication and the names of the 242 men of the district killed during the First World War. These have since been replaced with modern plaques of black polished granite. The panel on the front (south-west) face has a carved wreath to the top and an inscription that reads: 'THIS MONUMENT/ HAS BEEN ERECTED BY/ PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION IN/ MEMORY OF THE MEN/ FROM THE FARTOWN AND/ BIRKBY DISTRICTS WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ FOR GOD AND KING AND HOME/ THEY GAVE THEIR ALL'. Below this on the base of the pedestal is a smaller plaque with an inscription that reads: 'THIS MEMORIAL WAS UNVEILED BY/ GENERAL SIR IAN HAMILTON G.C.B. G.C.M.G. M.G.D.S.O./ ON SATURDAY APRIL 2nd 1921'. Underneath is a smaller plaque with an inscription that reads: 'IN MEMORY OF ALL/ THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES DURING THE/ SECOND WORLD WAR/ AND ALL SUBSEQUENT/ CONFLICTS', which was added at a later date. The remaining sides of the pedestal have plaques bearing the names of those killed, including an additional smaller plaque at the base of the rear (north-east) face.

Sources

Websites
'Fartown and Birkby war memorial'. Imperial War Museum war memorial record, accessed 25 January 2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/29202
Other
'Sir I Hamilton at Huddersfield' in The Leeds Mercury, 4 April 1921
'Suggested War Memorial' in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 27 August 1917

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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