Oakenshaw-cum-Woodlands War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1465625
Date first listed:
06-Sep-2019
Statutory Address:
Victoria Park, Cleckheaton Road, Oakenshaw, Bradford, BD12 7HT

Map

Ordnance survey map of Oakenshaw-cum-Woodlands War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
Victoria Park, Cleckheaton Road, Oakenshaw, Bradford, BD12 7HT

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

District:
Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SE1677928086

Summary

First World War memorial, 1920, by Messrs Wright and Son of Bradford, with additions for later conflicts.

Reasons for Designation

Oakenshaw-cum-Woodlands 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: * an imposing and prominently placed memorial by a well-known and respected firm of monumental masons; * the figure of the infantryman is well-executed and well-detailed in good quality granite.

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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.  One such memorial was raised at Oakenshaw as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 46 members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was designed by well-known monumental masons Messrs Wright Son of Bradford, and was erected in the north-east corner of Victoria Park, aligned to face the main gate off Cleckheaton Road. The cost of £625 was paid for by subscription and it was unveiled on 18 December 1920. Following the Second World War the names of six additional fallen from that conflict were added to the memorial and it was unveiled for a second time on 13 May 1950 by Sir Alfred Law Mowat, Bart, DSO, MC, one of Britain's most distinguished soldiers of the First World War who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Since then, a further name of a soldier killed during the Aden Emergency on the Arabian peninsula (1963-1967) has also been added to the memorial. The memorial has a granite figure of a soldier that is very similar in style to the listed Grade II bronze example of Batley War Memorial (National Heritage List for England or NHLE entry 1134639), which is also by Messrs Wright and Son of Bradford, who produced a number of war memorials in North and West Yorkshire, including those at Shipley, Sutton in Craven and Linton in Craven.

Details

First World War memorial, 1920, by Messrs Wright and Son of Bradford, with additions for later conflicts.

MATERIALS: granite figurative monument, with a sandstone and concrete stepped base.

PLAN: square-plan monument, within a crescent-plan stone curb surround.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial comprises an accurate, but slightly smaller than life-size carved figure of an infantryman wearing a soft cap and greatcoat, his head bowed, with his hands resting on the butt of his Lee-Enfield rifle; its muzzle is placed on his left foot. The figure stands on a shallow square base, mounted on a granite pedestal, with a carved moulded cornice, on a two-tier plinth, which is mounted on a two-stepped base. The north-east panel of the pedestal bears a dedication in lead lettering that reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF/ THE SERVICES AND SACRIFICES RENDERED/ BY THE MEN OF OAKENSHAW-CUM-WOODLANDS,/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919./ THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION/ AND WAS UNVEILED ON/ DECEMBER 18TH 1920./ “GIVE PEACE TO THOSE WHO/ BROUGHT US PEACE.” The names of the 46 First World War fallen are recorded on the north-west and south-east panels of the pedestal. The north-east face of the top step of the plinth reads: WITH THEM ALSO ARE REMEMBERED/ THE MEN OF THE WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945. The face of the lower step of the plinth, lists the names of the six men who died in the Second World War, along with one individual who was killed in Aden in 1967. The memorial stands within a crescent-plan stone curb surround that contains a flower bed.

Sources

Websites
Imperial War Museum War Memorial Register - Oakenshaw, accessed 8 July 2019 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/28629
Sir Alfred Law Mowat - Mowat Genealogy, accessed 9 July 2019 from http://mowatfamilyhistory.ca/ps14/ps14_411.htm
War Memorials Online - Oakenshaw cum Woodlands, accessed 8 July 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/171055
Other
Oakenshaw War Memorial, Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 13 May 1950, page 8

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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