Bonchurch War Memorial, a First World War memorial of 1920, designed by Herbert Bryant, standing outside the new Church of St Boniface, with added dates and names relating to the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Bonchurch War Memorial 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 its modest yet robust design, combining a Celtic cross with a sword carved in relief recalling the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Cross of Sacrifice.
* with the Grade II-listed church of St Boniface of 1847-1848, together with the Leeson family mausoleum of 1864 in Egyptian style, and the Swinburne family tombs, also listed at Grade II; East Dene, a Grade II*-listed house of 1825-1830, and Algernon Swinburne’s childhood home, stands to the east, with its lodge of 1854, and the old school and school house of about 1840-1850 are to the south.
Bonchurch War Memorial was dedicated in April 1920 by the Rural Dean of East Wight, having been completed the previous month. It was designed by Mr Herbert Bryant and built by Messrs Garret and Haysom of Southampton. The memorial commemorates 18 servicemen of the community who gave their lives in the First World War. At the same time, a commemorative pulpit was dedicated in the new Church of St Boniface, within the churchyard of which the memorial stands; a tablet placed within the church notes that one of the dead, George Henry Russell, was a member of the church choir for 26 years. Further dates and the names of four men lost in the Second World War were added in 1950.
The new Church of St Boniface was built in 1847-1848 to designs by Benjamin Ferrey, replacing the old church of the same dedication which remains about 150 metres to the south-east.
First World War memorial, 1920, designed by Herbert Bryant. The memorial, which takes the form of a Celtic cross, stands at the east side of the churchyard of St Boniface, near the entrance gates. Inscriptions have been added relating to the Second World War.
MATERIALS: granite with lead lettering.
DESCRIPTION: a rough-hewn granite wheel cross with a Sword of Sacrifice carved in relief on its front face, rising from a similarly rough-hewn tapered plinth on a square base. A recessed panel on the front of the plinth bears the inscription in sans-serif lettering, ‘TO THE MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF BONCHURCH/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919’ with the names of the fallen below. The side of the plinth carries the additional inscription, ‘1939-45’, followed by the names of those lost during that conflict.