Redditch St Stephen War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1461624

Date first listed: 19-Dec-2018

Statutory Address: Church Green West, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4DY

Map

Ordnance survey map of Redditch St Stephen War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address: Church Green West, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4DY

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

County: Worcestershire

District: Redditch (District Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: SP0410267655

Summary

A First World War memorial, 1922, designed by the Bromsgrove Guild, with later additions.

Reasons for Designation

Redditch St Stephen War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as an accomplished war memorial in the form of a Latin cross by the noted Bromsgrove Guild.

Historic interest:

* it is a poignant reminder of the impact of world events upon an individual community and thus has strong cultural and historical significance within both a local and national context.

Group value:

* the memorial forms a group with the Church of St Stephen (Grade II).

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 raised at Redditch, close to the Church of St Stephen, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 177 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It was designed by the Bromsgrove Guild and erected by Messrs Sprague and Evans (builders). The memorial was unveiled on Sunday 2 April 1922 by Viscount Windsor and dedicated by the Archdeacon of Worcester.

The names of the fallen were originally carved onto two faces of the memorial, and these are overlaid with later bronze plaques which also carry the names. The names of those parishioners who fell during the Second World War and a serviceman who was killed in the conflict in Afghanistan have since been added to the memorial.

Details

A First World War memorial, 1922, designed by the Bromsgrove Guild, with later additions.

MATERIALS: Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial stands in a prominent location, adjacent to the Church of St Stephen (Grade II). It comprises a Latin cross on a tall, tapering octagonal shaft with a substantial two-tiered square pedestal and single-stepped octagonal base. On the south-west face of the pedestal is a carving of James Clark’s ‘The Great Sacrifice’.

The inscriptions beneath the carving read: (on upper tier of plinth) BESEECHING THEE/ –THAT/ WITH THEM WE MAY BE PARTAKERS/ OF THY HEAVENLY KINGDOM.

(on lower tier of plinth) THIS EMBLEM OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH/ IS ERECTED TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN HONORED MEMORY OF THE/ MEN AND BOYS OF THIS PARISH/ WHO WON THE GLORY/ OF THE LIFE LAID DOWN/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914–1919

The names of the fallen from the First World War are carved on two (south-east and north-west) faces of the pedestal; these have since been overlaid with bronze plaques also inscribed with the names. There are three plaques for the First World War; further plaques commemorate those who lost their lives in later conflicts.

Sources

Websites
Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, accessed 21 November 2018 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/32122
War Memorials Online database, accessed 21 November 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/92209/
Other
Redditch War Memorial, Birmingham Daily Gazette, Monday 3 April 1922.

End of official listing