First World War memorial, 1925, by Messrs B Watson and Sons.
Reasons for Designation
Tong War Memorial, 1925, 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 First World War.
* a well-executed figurative war memorial employing good quality materials and craftsmanship, with an accurate representation of a First World War soldier.
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 Tong, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 133 members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.
Tong War Memorial was unveiled on 7 November 1925 by Lieutenant Colonel A Gadie MP, and dedicated by Dr Perowne the Bishop of Bradford. It was designed by Messrs B Watson and Sons, who also designed Hunsworth War Memorial, West Yorkshire. Originally when unveiled, the names of the fallen were inscribed in gold letters, but further names were also added shortly afterwards on three sides of the plinth, and were later painted in black. Unlike many other war memorials the names of the fallen from the Second World War were not added to it, as they were added to the war memorial in Tong Park.
First World War memorial, 1925 by Messrs B Watson and Sons.
MATERIALS: granite figure, on a granite and sandstone pedestal and base.
PLAN: square in plan.
DESCRIPTION: the memorial comprises an accurate, life-size carved figure of an infantryman supported by a tree stump, wearing a soft cap, with his head bowed; his hands resting on the butt of his Lee-Enfield rifle, with its muzzle placed on his left foot. The figure stands on a square two-stepped base, the lower step is of sandstone and is inscribed: TONG'S TRIBUTE. The figure is mounted on a pedestal, with a carved moulded sandstone cornice, a granite dado and a moulded two-step sandstone plinth, raised on a four-step ashlar base. The north-west polished granite panel of the dado is inscribed in black letters: IN HONOUR/ OF THE MEN WHO FELL/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919, with the names of the fallen inscribed in alphabetical order on all four panels. The upper step of the plinth has a torus moulding and the north-west elevation is inscribed; " SO THEY PASSED OVER,/ AND THE TRUMPET SOUNDED/ FOR THEM ON THE OTHER SIDE.", and the remaining elevations are inscribed with the names of an additional 14 fallen soldiers. The lower step of the plinth has a chamfered upper surface and the north-west elevation has a laurel wreath with billowing ribbons carved in relief.