Pendeen War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1457514
Date first listed:
22-Jun-2018
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Churchyard of St John the Baptist, Pendeen, Cornwall, TR19 7SF

Map

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

Statutory Address:
Churchyard of St John the Baptist, Pendeen, Cornwall, TR19 7SF

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

Location Description:
District:
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
St. Just
National Grid Reference:
SW3821734162

Summary

A First World War memorial, dedicated in 1920; altered after the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Pendeen 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 the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20; * for the poignant relationship between two tragic events in the history of the Parish, and the significant loss of life caused by them.

Architectural interest: * for its design, a well-executed Celtic wheel-head cross.

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 750,000 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 Pendeen, 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 war memorial at Pendeen commemorates the 28 parishioners from Pendeen who served in the First World War and did not return.

The memorial was funded by public subscription (including a contribution from Levant Mine) and cost £120. The designer and maker was WH Snell & Sons of Newlyn. The chairman of the committee was Reverend Barker Lumb, the incumbent priest at the Church of St John the Baptist, Pendeen, in the cemetery of which the memorial stands. Reports from the dedication on 19 June 1920 by the Bishop of Truro suggest that, whilst there was a desire to commemorate those lost, a stone memorial ‘was a mockery of all our brethren did’. Pendeen had a strong religious community and the Bishop gave a fervent address on equality in employment and faith, and made it clear that the memorial cross was seen as a way of representing the united efforts of the Parish during the War.

Two of the names on the memorial are noted as ‘missing’ although one is recorded elsewhere as being interred in a European military cemetery. A further individual commemorated, Rita Mary Bennetts, was a nurse and died of pneumonia whilst serving in Hampshire.

The memorial is particularly poignant as 31 lives were lost in the Levant Mine Disaster on 20 October 1919, less than a year after the official end of the War. Their graves can be seen in close proximity to the memorial and highlight the significant loss this small mining community suffered in just five years.

Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the eight men who fell in that conflict.

Details

A First World War memorial, dedicated in 1920; altered after the Second World War.

MATERIALS Granite.

DESCRIPTION Wheel-head cross on tapering base and plinth with stone posts and metal railings to three sides. The principal face of the shaft is inscribed ‘IN / LOVING MEMORY / OF ALL THOSE / WHO WENT FORTH / FROM THE / PARISH OF PENDEEN / AND ESPECIALLY / OF THOSE WHO / LAID DOWN THEIR / LIVES IN / THE GREAT WAR / 1914 – 1919 / FOR THE CAUSE OF LIBERTY / AND RIGHTEOUSNESS / "THEIR NAME LIVETH / FOR EVERMORE". Below, on the plinth are inscribed the names of the 28 parishioners who lost their lives in the First World War, including two noted as missing, and a nurse. The back of the plinth is inscribed ‘DEDICATED / BY THE / LORD BISHOP OF TRURO / JUNE 19 1920’.

After World War Two, the front railing was removed to accommodate a stone slab with a simple raised shield to record the eight men who fell in that conflict under the heading ‘1939-1945 / IN THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE’.

The granite for the memorial was likely to have been quarried at Carn Earnes, on the hill adjacent to the church and its cemetery.

Sources

Websites
Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Pendeen, accessed 25/05/2018 from https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/37041/pendeen-(st.-john-the-baptist)-churchyard-and-cemetery/
Cornwall’s War History – Pendeen, accessed 25/05/2018 from http://www.cornwallswarhistory.co.uk/maps/war-memorials-2/pendeen/
Imperial War Museum – War Memorials Register – St John the Baptist Church, accessed 25/05/2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/26327
Roll of Honour – Cornwall – Pendeen, accessed 25/05/2018 from http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cornwall/Pendeen.html
War Memorials Online – Men of Pendeen, accessed 25/05/2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/254226/
Other
The Cornishman, Wednesday 9 June 1920, p.5.
Western Morning News, Monday 21 June 1920, p.3.

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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