Gorton and Abbey Hey War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1460798

Date first listed: 08-Nov-2018

Location Description:

Statutory Address: Junction of Constable and Lees Street, Gorton, Manchester, M18 8GY

Map

Ordnance survey map of Gorton and Abbey Hey War Memorial
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1460798 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 02:02:43.

Location

Statutory Address: Junction of Constable and Lees Street, Gorton, Manchester, M18 8GY

Location Description:

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

District: Manchester (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: SJ8909296900

Summary

First World War memorial of about 1920 with Second World War dates added.

Reasons for Designation

Gorton and Abbey Hey War Memorial, a First World War memorial of about 1920 with Second World War dates added, 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: * for its well-modelled granite form with details including intricate lettering and a Tudor crown finial.

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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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 erected in Gorton, commemorating the 140 fallen of Gorton and Abbey Hey. It is not known when the memorial was erected, but it is first marked, in its current location, on the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:2,500 map of 1935 (surveyed in 1933). The makers are thought to have been Lewis and Co. It is thought that the names inscribed on the base, which are in the same ornate lettering as those on the pillar, are those of First World War fallen which were initially omitted. This suggests that the memorial was erected in the early 1920s, when there was still some uncertainty about the final fate of some men. The alternative (that these are the names of the fallen of the Second World War) does not appear to be borne out by searches of service records for those names. The dates of the Second World War were added to the front of the plinth after 1945.

The war memorial is prominently sited at the junction of Lees Street and Constable Street in Gorton, adjacent to a small recreation ground.

Details

First World War memorial, about 1920, with Second World War dates added after 1945.

MATERIALS: pink granite.

PLAN: square.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial faces approximately north and stands approximately five metres tall. It comprises a square pillar with moulded base and capital, surmounted by a short circular column with a crown finial.

The finial is a Tudor crown, and sits atop a short, fluted column with a moulded capital and foot, on an octagonal base. Beneath this, the capital of the main pillar has a moulded cornice, with a semi-circular arch in the centre of the top, housing a laurel wreath. Above the frieze, the face of the cornice is inscribed: IN MEMORIAM. Below this the frieze has three triglyphs, with Lancashire roses between them. Below this the pillar is inscribed with the names of the fallen; on the north face there are 29. The names are listed alphabetically by surname and Christian name, with ranks and decorations included. The lettering is in a serifed, Gothic style and painted in gold.

The base to the pillar is two-stepped and moulded. The face of the upper step is inscribed: IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING AND COUNTRY while the face of the lower step is inscribed: THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919/ 1939-1945. The chamfered top of the upper step is inscribed with an additional two names, while that of the lower step has a further four.

The other faces are of identical design. The right return (west) has 29 names on the face, with one on the upper step and four on the lower step. The face of the upper step is inscribed: THEIR BRIGHT SPIRITS STILL TENANT THE/ HEARTS OF THOSE WHO LOVED THEM and that of the lower step: VICTORY.

The rear (south) face has 30, 2 and 4 names, with the lower inscriptions reading: THEY PASSED OUT OF THE SIGHT OF MAN BY/ THE PATH OF DUTY AND SELF SACRIFICE and: LIBERTY. The left return (east) face has 29, 2 and 4 names, and inscriptions reading: LET THOSE WHO COME AFTER SEE TO IT THAT/ THESE NAMES BE NOT FORGOTTEN and: PEACE .

Thus, there are 117 names in total on the faces of the pillar, plus 23 on the base, totalling 140.

Sources

Websites
Forces War Records, accessed 09/10/18 from https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/namesearch/?Surname=ollerenshaw&RecordType=Ww2&RecordDateStartYear=1939&RecordDateEndYear=1945&Step=1
Imperial War Museums register, accessed 25/09/18 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/10715
Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society, accessed 25/09/18 from http://www.mlfhs.org.uk/data/war_memorials_images.php?memorial=170
War Memorials Online register, accessed 25/09/18 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/179684

End of official listing