South Wigston War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1464815
Date first listed:
04-Jul-2019
Statutory Address:
St. Thomas's Church, St. Thomas Road, Wigston, LE18 4TA

Map

Ordnance survey map of South Wigston War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
St. Thomas's Church, St. Thomas Road, Wigston, LE18 4TA

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

County:
Leicestershire
District:
Oadby and Wigston (District Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SP5866698335

Summary

First World War memorial, built 1923; with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

South Wigston 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 a good example of a war memorial designed and later altered by Pick, Everard & Keay, featuring good quality carved panels depicting cricketing and military equipment, and using high quality materials.

Group value:

* with the Grade II*-listed Church of St Thomas and the Grade II-listed St Thomas’s Vicarage.

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 750,000 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 South Wigston, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 106 members of the parishes of South Wigston and Glen Parva who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was commissioned by a local war memorial committee and designed by the Leicester-based architectural and engineering practice Pick, Everard and Keay in June 1920. It originally took the form of the obelisk on top of a five-bay plinth. The memorial was unveiled by Major General Sir EM Woodward on Sunday 11 November 1923, and dedicated by the Venerable FB Macnutt, Archdeacon of Leicester.

Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the 51 men who fell in that conflict. To accommodate this, in August 1951 the obelisk was raised onto a second tier designed by Pick, Everard, Keay and Gimson.

Details

First World War memorial, built 1923; with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: Portland stone; Swithland slate; concrete filling.

DESCRIPTION: South Wigston War Memorial is located to the south-east of the Grade II*-listed Church of St Thomas, facing the road and with a low fence to the pavement.

The memorial is three-tiered with a central, tapered obelisk with projecting pedimented faces carved with an inverted sword on each side, a moulded cap and string of laurel carving around the base. It is set on a two-tiered Portland stone plinth inset with Swithland slate tablets. The plinths are filled with concrete. Three steps lead up to the memorial.

The bottom of the front face of the obelisk is carved with: THEY WERE A WALL UNTO US / BY NIGHT AND BY DAY / IN SACRED SLEEP THEY REST / SAY NOT THAT THE BRAVE DIE. Below this, the central projecting bay of the plinth is carved with the inscription TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN MEMORY OF THE / MEN OF SOUTH WIGSTON / AND GLEN PARVA, WHO / GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE / WARS OF 1914 – 1918 / AND 1939 – 1945. The inscription is flanked by panels carved with cricketing and military equipment. The names and regiments of the fallen are incised and gilded into the 11 slate tablets below carved stone dates 1914-18 and 1939-45.

Sources

Websites
Imperial War Museum: War Memorials Register: South Wigston & Glen Parva , accessed 30/05/2019 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/37743
Leicestershire County Council’s Leicestershire & Rutland War Memorials Project website , accessed 30/05/2019 from http://www.leicestershirewarmemorials.co.uk/war/memorials/view/1072
War Memorials Online: South Wigston, accessed 30/05/2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/255797/
Other
Illustrated Leicester Chronicle, Saturday 16 July 1921, p2.

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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