Branston War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1456815
Date first listed:
02-Jul-2018
Statutory Address:
Main Street, Branston, Leicestershire, NG32 1RU

Map

Ordnance survey map of Branston War Memorial
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address:
Main Street, Branston, Leicestershire, NG32 1RU

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

County:
Leicestershire
District:
Melton (District Authority)
Parish:
Croxton Kerrial
National Grid Reference:
SK8099729520

Summary

First World War memorial, approx 1920, within a paved, semi-circular niche formed by a curving stone wall and including two attached roll of honour boards.

Reasons for Designation

Branston War Memorial, within a paved, semi-circular niche which is situated in Main Street, outside St Guthlac’s 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as an elegant and well-executed stone and wood calvary within a niche in the churchyard wall.

Group value:

* with the Grade II*-listed Church of St Guthlac, the Grade II-listed The Old Rectory, and the Grade II-listed Village Hall.

History

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 Branston as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Branston War Memorial was situated within a specially-created niche in the churchyard wall, which allowed it to face the main road through the village. The memorial was presumably erected around 1920. The memorial commemorates six local servicemen who fell in the First World War and 32 men who served but returned, and one man who fell in the Second World War.

Details

First World War memorial, approx 1920, with Second World War addition.

DESCRIPTION: Branston War Memorial is located in a niche in the churchyard wall of St Guthlac’s Church, facing Main Road, Branston, Leicestershire. It is prominently situated by the roadside in the heart of the village. It comprises an approximately 2.5m calvary consisting of a timber canopied cross with carved wooden figure of Christ, atop a tapering four-sided plinth on a two-tiered base. This is accompanied by two roll of honour boards (with gable-shaped canopies) attached to the walls either side. The curving back wall is a deliberately-created semi-circular niche in the churchyard wall, and has an eyebrow head at the centre, behind the calvary. The ground is paved and has a kerb that runs along the footprint of the original churchyard wall. The plinth bears the inscriptions in leaded lettering.

The principal inscription is in incised and infilled lettering and reads "LORD REMEMBER WHEN THOU COMEST/ IN THY KINGDOM THOSE WHO GAVE LIFE/ FOR US IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918"/ (NAMES)// R.I.P.// "SONS OF THIS PLACE, LET THIS OF YOU BE SAID,/ THAT YOU WHO LIVE ARE WORTHY OF YOUR DEAD/ THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES, THAT YOU WHO LIVE MAY REAP/ A RICHER HARVEST, ERE YOU FALL ASLEEP".

The Second World War inscription on a side face of the plinth reads 1939 - 1945/ NAME.

The rolls of honour on the walls read IN THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE OF/ THE MEN OF BRANSTON WHO WENT/ TO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY IN/ THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 18/ AND RETURNED IN SAFETY/ WE THANK THEE O GOD/ (NAMES).

Sources

Websites
Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire War Memorials, accessed 2 April 2018 from http://www.leicestershirewarmemorials.co.uk/war/memorials/view/185
War Memorial Register, accessed 2 April 2018 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/37790
War Memorials Online, accessed 2 April 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/239888/

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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