Woodbury War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Village Green, Greenway, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1LP


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Statutory Address:
Village Green, Greenway, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1LP

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

East Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Woodbury War Memorial, which stands on the village green, 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 a well-executed example of a simple Latin memorial cross.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Swithun (Grade I) and its lychgate (Grade II), the White Hart Inn (Grade II), The Priory (Grade II), The Beals (Grade II), Thorne's Cottage (Grade II) and 2 and 3 The Green (Grade II*).


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 Woodbury as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 37 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The land for the memorial was donated by Rose E Martin and it was constructed by Messrs Easton and Sons of Exeter, with parishioners donating sand, stone and other materials, as well as giving their labour for free to help in the construction. The memorial was unveiled on Saturday 10 July 1920 by the local MP Major Morrison Bell and dedicated by the Reverend R H Neely.

The erection of the war memorial followed the installation of a memorial organ, tablet and screen in the parish church, which were unveiled by the Bishop of Exeter in June 1920.

The names of the 10 parishioners who fell during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.


First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: rough-hewn granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands in a prominent location on the village green, to the south-east of the Church of St Swithun (Grade I) and its lychgate (Grade II). The memorial comprises a tall Latin cross of rough-hewn granite standing on a trapezoidal plinth, atop a three-stepped octagonal base.

The main inscription is on the front face of the plinth in leaded lettering and reads: I STAND/ TO THE PROUD AND GLORIOUS/ MEMORY/ OF THE MEN FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ THROUGH SACRIFICE, TO VICTORY AND LIFE. The ranks, surnames and initials of the First World War fallen are recorded in two columns on each of the two side faces of the plinth.

On the upper face of the top step of the base is the additional inscription 1939 – 1945/, with the ranks, surnames and initials of the Second World War fallen recorded in two lists on the upper face of the top step to either side of the plinth.


War Memorial Register, accessed 8 November 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/25462
War Memorials Online, accessed 8 November 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/237166/
'Woodbury War Memorial Cross', The Western Times, 8 December 1919, p.3
'Woodbury's Memorial Cross', The Devon and Exeter Gazette, 12 July 1920, p.3


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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