A First World War memorial, with post Second World War additions.
Reasons for Designation
St Michael’s on Wyre War Memorial, a First World War memorial with post Second World War additions, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* 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 design interest of the wheel-head cross with interlace and its rough-hewn plinth, and inscriptions in metal lettering.
* with the adjacent listed Church of St Michael (List entry 1281178, Grade I), and mounting block (List entry 1073087, 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 St Michael's on Wyre as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 19 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.
Little is known about the history of the memorial. It is first marked on the 1932 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map. The men’s regiments, and the names of those who served and returned, are found on a roll of honour in the church. This marks John Bateson as missing, and presumably predates knowledge of his death and his addition to the memorial. Following the end of the Second World War a tablet was installed at the foot of the memorial commemorating the names of three servicemen who died in that conflict as well as one individual who died in Palestine in 1947.
Witness marks demonstrate that below the names of the First World War was an inscription reading, ‘make them to be numbered with thy saints’. This was presumably removed when the Second World War tablet was added, and the longer version of the same dedication added below these names. Early in the C21 the metal chains which linked the bollards around the memorial were stolen.
Pilot Officer FG Bamber, a bomb aimer who died in 1942 and is named on this memorial, has a Commomwealth War Graves Commission headstone in the churchyard.
A First World War memorial predating 1932, with later additions.
MATERIALS: white granite, lead lettering.
DESCRIPTION: standing in a small gravelled area bounded by tarmac, set into the boundary of the churchyard of the Church of St Michael. The memorial faces west. It comprises a Celtic cross rising from a rough-hewn tapering plinth with a smooth upper surface, and a sloping tablet at the foot of the plinth. Inscriptions are in applied lead lettering. The wheel-head cross has interlace designs in low relief. Below this is the inscription: THIS STONE/ IS DEDICATED/ IN PROUD AND/ LOVING MEMORY/ OF/ THE MEMBERS/ OF THIS PARISH/ WHO FELL IN THE/ GREAT WARS/ THAT GENERATIONS/ YET UNBORN/ MAY NOT FORGET/ HOW MUCH THEY OWE/ TO THE BRAVE MEN/ WHO AT THE CALL/ OF DUTY/ FOUGHT FOR THE/ HONOUR/ OF THEIR COUNTRY/ AND FOLLOWING/ THE GREAT EXAMPLE/ WILLINGLY LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES/ FOR OTHERS/ 1914 – 1918.
The west face of the plinth records the names of 18 men who died in the First World War as well as one who died in Russia in 1919, and was awarded the Military Medal. Names are listed alphabetically, without rank.
The stone tablet at the foot of the memorial reads 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES)/ “MAKE THEM TO BE NUMBERED WITH THY/ SAINTS IN GLORY EVERLASTING”/ (NAME) – PALESTINE 1947.
SUBSIDIARY ITEMS: shouldered sandstone gateposts with pecked faces and dressed margins stand at either side of the opening into the memorial garden, at the back of the pavement. Square bollards flank the memorial at the rear.