Yarm War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1467852
Date first listed:
13-Jan-2020
Statutory Address:
Outside Yarm Town Hall, High Street, Yarm, TS15 9AH

Map

Ordnance survey map of Yarm War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
Outside Yarm Town Hall, High Street, Yarm, TS15 9AH

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

District:
Stockton-on-Tees (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Yarm
National Grid Reference:
NZ4191212832

Summary

First World War memorial, 1920 with late C20 additions.

Reasons for Designation

Yarm War Memorial, 1920, 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;

* the controversy surrounding the original design gives an insight into the public sensibilities in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.

Architectural interest:

* a prominently sited and poignant memorial in the form of a tall octagonal Latin cross, executed in local sandstone.

Group value:

* it benefits from a spatial group value with the Grade II-listed town hall and numerous other adjacent listed buildings.

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 Yarm as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 79 local servicemen who lost their lives.

It was originally proposed to construct a new town hall on the site of the existing structure as a memorial to the fallen of Yarm. However, opposition to the demolition of the historic town hall led to the withdrawal of the scheme in June 2019. It was instead decided that a memorial cross should be erected at the south end of the town hall. In October 2019 the work was commissioned from Mr Seymour at a cost of £240 raised by public subscription, and within a few months the memorial, with a four-sided cross head, was complete. However there was disquiet with the four-sided cross design as it was thought to resemble the German Iron Cross and soon afterwards the cross head was replaced by the present Latin cross. The memorial was unveiled on 12 June 1920 by Sir Hugh Bell, Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding at a well-attended ceremony presided over by Mr ER Whitwell. Hymns prayers and readings were offered followed by a reading of the Roll of Honour and buglers sounded the Last Post. The unveiling followed with further hymns and the Reveille was sounded. The ceremony finished with the singing of the National Anthem and the laying of wreaths.

In June 1962 the memorial was cleaned and slate panels were added over the original inscriptions, onto which the names of the First World War fallen were carved. The names of the fallen of the Second World War were also added at this time, having previously been recorded on an oak tablet within the church. These slate plaques were subsequently replaced in 1999 with polished black marble tablets and the names updated following research by the town council. They include the name of a fallen serviceman of the Korean War. In 2014 a third step with railing was added to the base and the memorial was cleaned.

Details

First World War memorial, 1920 with late C20 additions.

MATERIALS: local red sandstone, polished black marble plaques.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is situated in a central location immediately outside of the Grade II-listed town hall. It takes the form of a tall Latin cross with octagonal arms and shaft set upon an octagonal plinth and a two-stepped octagonal base. The eight sides of the plinth each carry a polished black marble plaque recording the inscriptions and the names ordered by surname. The inscriptions read:

TO / THE MEMORY OF / OUR GLORIOUS DEAD / THE GREAT WAR / 1914 - 1918 / AND / WORLD WAR / 1939 - 45 and THEY ARE CROWNED / WITH THE GARLAND / OF IMMORTALITY.

Sources

Websites
North East War Memorials Project, accessed 8 November 2019 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=11099
The War Dead of Yarm compiled by Peter Monck , accessed 8 November 2019 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/memimages//War%20Dead%20of%20Yarm(1).pdf
War Memorials Online - Yarm War Memorial, accessed 7 January 2020 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/218683/
War Memorials Register - Imperial War Museum - Men of Yarm, accessed 7 January 2020 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/63899

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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