Narborough War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1467653
Date first listed:
22-Jun-2020
Statutory Address:
Narborough Cemetery, Church Lane, Narborough, Leicestershire, LE19 2GL

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Narborough Cemetery, Church Lane, Narborough, Leicestershire, LE19 2GL

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

County:
Leicestershire
District:
Blaby (District Authority)
Parish:
Narborough
National Grid Reference:
SP5405497576

Summary

A First World War memorial, erected in 1920; further names added after the Second World War and later.

Reasons for Designation

The war memorial in Narborough 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 church’s community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest: * for its design, a dignified cross of sacrifice with a wheel head.

Group value: * with the Grade–II* listed Church of All Saints to the south-east, with which it shares its prominent location on the green at the heart of the village.

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.

Narborough war memorial also represents the fallen from Littlethorpe. The memorial commemorates 35 local servicemen who fell in the First World War, 22 men who lost their lives in the Second World War, and one who died in Northern Ireland (added to the memorial later, in 2014).

The memorial, which was set up in a prominent location at the entrance to the cemetery, appears to have been given by the Enderby and Stoney Stanton Granite Company, presumably as its gift, to the design of honorary architects, Ernest Harry Smith and H Robinson. A local committee organised the memorial, following on from its work arranging for parcels to be sent to troops during the war. The memorial was unveiled on 4 December 1920 by Lieutenant JW Dixie-Smith and dedicated by the Rector, the Reverend HR Tomlinson MA. Following this, the bronze wreath was placed by the youngest ex-serviceman to have enlisted from the village, Private Joseph Geary, on behalf of the discharged soldiers and sailors of Narborough and Littlethorpe.

The Second World War names were added to the memorial, in cast bronze panels to match the First World War examples. In 2014, the Parish Council commissioned a similar matching plaque in memory of Robert Benner, killed in Northern Ireland in 1971.

Details

A First World War memorial, erected in 1920; further names added after the Second World War and later.

MATERIALS Grey Welsh granite.

DESCRIPTION The memorial rises to a height of about 5.5m, and takes the form of a wheel-head cross on a moulded, tapering, octagonal-section shaft featuring a relief-carved downturned sword of sacrifice, atop a square plinth with moulded cap, on a cruciform base with two-tiered quarter-circle steps infilling the gaps between the arms, the whole on a low octagonal base. The bronze wreath was originally affixed in a leaning position between the front-facing arm of the cruciform base and the octagonal tier below, but was moved after the Second World War to lie affixed on top of the cruciform arm, so that a Second World War plaque could be affixed to its riser. The plinth and base bears the inscriptions in cast bronze relief plaques.

The inscriptions read: (Upper plinth): TO THE GLORIOUS DEAD/ 1914 (relief image of a wreath) 1918/ THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED/ BY THE INHABITANTS OF/ NARBOROUGH AND LITTLETHORPE/ IN MEMORY OF THEIR MEN WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ UNVEILED DECEMBER 4TH 1920// (Bronze wreath): LEST WE/ FORGET/ FROM THEIR/ COMRADES WHO/ CAME BACK// (Upper Plinth, three remaining faces): (NAMES)// (Lower plinth): IN MEMORY OF OUR/ FALLEN COMRADES/ 1939 – 1945/ FROM THE EX-SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN/ OF NARBOROUGH AND LITTLETHORPE// (Lower plinth, remaining faces): (NAMES).

Sources

Websites
Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register: Narborough and Littlethorpe War Memorial, accessed 20.05.2020 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/37484
Leicestershire County Council’s Leicestershire & Rutland War Memorials Project: Memorial Cross, Cemetery, Church Lane – Narborough, accessed 20.05.2020 from http://www.leicestershirewarmemorials.co.uk/war/memorials/view/835
Other
Leicester Daily Post, 6 December 1920, p.5. ‘Honouring the Dead: Unveiling and Dedication of Memorial to Men of Narborough and Littlethorpe who Fell in the War.’

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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