Datchet War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1462972
Date first listed:
26-Apr-2019
Statutory Address:
The Green, Datchet, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, SL3 9EH

Map

Ordnance survey map of Datchet War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
The Green, Datchet, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, SL3 9EH

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

District:
Windsor and Maidenhead (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Datchet
National Grid Reference:
SU9878477059

Summary

First World War memorial, 1920, by Sir Lionel Henry Cust, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Datchet 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: * as an unusual form of a cenotaph style of war memorial with good quality carving and particularly evocative images in low relief of military hardware of the First World War.

* as the work of Sir Lionel Henry Cust, an eminent art historian of the period.

Group value: * with a number of Grade II listed buildings surrounding the Green.

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. 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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Datchet as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. 

The memorial was unveiled on 8 May 1920 by the Marquis of Lincolnshire, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. Costing just over £600, it was designed by Sir Lionel Henry Cust of Datchet House. It commemorates 54 local servicemen who died during the First World War. In 1989 a dedication was added to commemorate the 30 fallen of the Second World War. The memorial was restored in 2011 and a plaque with 11 additional names from the First World War was added in 2018.

The designer, Sir Lionel Henry Cust (1859-1929) was an art historian, Keeper of the King’s Pictures, and director of the National Portrait Gallery between 1895 and 1909.

Details

First World War memorial, 1920, by Sir Lionel Henry Cust, with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: Portland stone with marble plaques with leaded lettering.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial takes the form of a hexagonal cenotaph with a three-handled urn on top with swags hanging from the handles. Between the swags are lion masks in relief. A carved relief below the urn has representations relating to the First World War including an aircraft, a tank, and an airship. On three of the bottom corners of the obelisk are large shields bearing the arms of the Army, Navy and RAF in relief. On the other three sides of the memorial are tall marble plaques.

The plaque on the front face of the obelisk reads THIS MONUMENT/ IS ERECTED BY INHABITANTS OF/ DATCHET/ TO COMMEMORATE THE GREAT WAR/ OF 1914-1919/ AND THE GLORIOUS VICTORY OF/ THE BRITISH FORCES AND THEIR ALLIES/ BY SEA, ON LAND, AND IN THE AIR/ OVER THE COMBINED FORCES OF/ GERMANY, AUSTRIA, TURKEY AND BULGARIA/ ALSO/ TO RECORD THE SHARE TAKEN BY THIS/ VILLAGE IN PROMOTING THIS VICTORY/ AND/ TO PAY GRATEFUL AND REVERENT TRIBUTE/ TO THOSE WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY/ IN THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE AND FREEDOM.

A second plaque is inscribed THE NAMES HERE RECORDED/ ARE OF THOSE INHABITANTS OF/ DATCHET/ WHO AT THE CALL OF DUTY LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ (NAMES with regiment/arm of service and rank)/ MOURN NOT FOR THEM/ FOR THEY CAN NEVER DIE.

The third plaque reads THE NUMBERS HERE RECORDED/ ARE OF THOSE INHABITANTS OF/ DATCHET/ WHO BY ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE/ IN FOREIGN LANDS OR IN THIS COUNTRY/ OR BY SERVICES RENDERED AT HOME/ CONTRIBUTED TO THE GREAT VICTORY/ WHICH THIS MONUMENT COMMEMORATES/ IN THE NAVAL MILITARY AND TERRITORIAL FORCES BEFORE THE WAR/ 40/ JOINED THE FORCES DURING THE WAR/ 322/ SERVED ABROAD OR AT HOME IN THE RED CROSS SOCIETY,/ THE VOLUNTEER DEFENCE CORPS/ AS SPECIAL CONSTABLES, IN THE VOLUNTARY AID DETACHMENT, OR THE WAR HOSPITAL SUPPLY DEPOT/ 142.

Later marble plaques have been added around the base of the memorial to the rear, with additional names from the First World War and the fallen from the Second World War. An additional marble plaque is located on the base of the south face of the memorial that reads HERE ALSO RECORDED/ THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO DIED/ DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR/ 1939 - 1945.

The memorial sits on a paved area within the green, bordered by later low stone-walled beds with stone copings in a pentagon shape.

Sources

Websites
Imperial War Museum Register of War Memorials: 7936 - Datchet, accessed 6 February 2019 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/7936
Roll of Honour: Datchet War Memorial, accessed 6 February 2019 from http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Buckinghamshire/Datchet.html
War Memorials Online: 157037 - Datchet, accessed 6 February 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/157037

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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