Wymondham War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1460831
Date first listed:
14-Jan-2019
Statutory Address:
Town Green, Junction of Vicar Street and Middleton Street, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0AB

Map

Ordnance survey map of Wymondham War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
Town Green, Junction of Vicar Street and Middleton Street, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0AB

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

County:
Norfolk
District:
South Norfolk (District Authority)
Parish:
Wymondham
National Grid Reference:
TG1081501720

Summary

First World War Memorial.

Reasons for Designation

Wymondham 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;

Architectural interest:

* it is a well-detailed war memorial in the form of an obelisk;

Group value:

* it is surrounded by numerous listed buildings, notably nos 6 and 8 Vicar Street to the west, nos 2 & 4 and 6 Town Green to the east, and the Methodist Church to the north, all listed at Grade II, with which it forms a group.

History

The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Previously, memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, 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.

At the annual Wymondham Parish Meeting in April 1919 a committee was set up to establish a war memorial. Various schemes were considered, including a cottage hospital, almshouses, nursing facilities, a monument in the Market Place or Fairland, church memorials, and a recreation ground. A proposal for a monument at an estimated cost of c£300-£500 was put forward but there was some disagreement as local people wanted a utilitarian form of memorial and some also argued that inscribing the names of the fallen on a monument would duplicate schemes already in hand at Wymondham Abbey and inside the parish church. By May 1920, however, the monument scheme had been settled on and a stone obelisk was unveiled in Town Green on 24 July 1921. The memorial commemorates 143 local servicemen who fell in the First World War, 43 men who fell in the Second World War, and 3 civilians killed during the Second World War by enemy action. In 2015, the nationally-produced VC slab for Company Sergeant Major Harry Daniels, Rifle Brigade, was incorporated into the paving at the foot of the monument.

Details

First World War memorial.

MATERIALS: sandstone from Robin Hood quarry.

PLAN: the memorial is located in Town Green, at the junction of Vicar Street and Middleton Street.

EXTERIOR: the memorial is in the form of a stone obelisk on a tall, elaborate pedestal, with angle-set scrolled acanthus leaf console brackets. To each face is a segmental arch, beneath which is a shouldered inscription panel with foliate borders. The base of the obelisk has a wreath to each face; the front face has a Latin cross carved in relief to the shaft of the obelisk. The whole stands on a square three-stepped base, the corners of which are chamfered; at these corners are low inscription stones carrying the names of the dead of the Second World War. The memorial stands within an area of decorative paving surrounded by a border for planting (later addition). The pedestal bears the First World War names in incised and black painted lettering. The dedication is carved in relief around the bottom of the pedestal, and the Second World War inscription has been added to the low stones around the base in incised and black painted lettering. The dedicatory inscriptions are carved in relief with the names incised and painted.

Sources

Websites
Imperial War Museum Inventory , accessed 9 October 2018 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/20188
Other
Thetford & Watton Times and People's Weekly Journal, Saturday 5 April 1919, p.6; Saturday 12 April 1919, p.5; Saturday 19 April 1919, p.2; Saturday 1 May 1920, p.6

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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