Westleton War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1468649
Date first listed:
27-Jan-2020
Statutory Address:
At the junction of The Street and Darsham Road, Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3AD

Map

Ordnance survey map of Westleton War Memorial
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1468649.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 04-Apr-2020 at 18:11:36.

Location

Statutory Address:
At the junction of The Street and Darsham Road, Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3AD

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

County:
Suffolk
District:
Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)
Parish:
Westleton
National Grid Reference:
TM4403969032

Summary

First World War memorial, erected in 1920 by Fred Barber of Halesworth, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

Westleton War Memorial, erected in 1920 by Fred Barber of Halesworth, with Second World War additions, 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; * it records the name of parishioner John Gissing, one of 134 munitions workers killed when eight tons of TNT exploded at National Filing Factory No 6, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, on 1 July 1918; this was the biggest loss of life from a single accidental explosion during the First World War. Architectural interest:

* as a simple but impressive and well executed memorial that takes the form of an obelisk.

Group value:

* with the village hall, Lavender Cottage, the Crown Inn and the Old School House, all listed at Grade II.

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.

One such memorial was raised at Westleton in Suffolk as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 17 local servicemen who lost their lives during the conflict. In addition, it also records the name of parishioner John Gissing, a munitions worker who was killed when eight tons of TNT exploded at National Filing Factory No 6, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, on 1 July 1918. In total 134 people were killed, of whom only 32 could be positively identified, and a further 250 were injured; this was the biggest loss of life from a single accidental explosion during the First World War.

The memorial, which was designed and built by the stone mason Fred Barber of Halesworth, who was responsible for a number of war memorials in eastern Suffolk, was unveiled on 25 January 1920.

Following the Second World War the names of three local servicemen who died during that conflict were added to the memorial.

Details

First World War memorial, erected in 1920 by Fred Barber of Halesworth, with Second World War additions

MATERIALS: Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands in a prominent roadside position within a small, triangular-shaped garden at the junction between The Street and Darsham Road, immediately to the south of Westleton Village Hall (listed Grade II). It comprises a 2.5m high rectangular stone obelisk with a triangular-pedimented roof, engaged columns at the corners and a deep, ogee-moulded plinth standing on a single-stepped base, square on plan.

The main (south) face of the obelisk bears a granite tablet inscribed with the names of the 18 local men who lost their lives during the First World War. Above the tablet is a relief carving of a laurel wreath and swags and below it is the dedicatory inscription which reads SACRED TO THE MEMORY / OF EIGHTEEN BRAVE MEN OF WESTLETON / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / FOR THEIR COUNTRY / IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914-1918.

Below, the south face of the base is inscribed with the date 1939-1945 and the names of the three parishioners who died during the Second World War.

The memorial stands in a circular-shaped gravel area within a small garden enclosed by a chain link fence supported by concrete posts painted white. On its south side a short gravel path provides access to the memorial from the adjoining pavement.

Sources

Websites
Information on Westleton War Memorial from the Imperial War Museum's War Memorials, accessed 4 December 2019 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/5597
Information on Westleton War Memorial from the War Memorials Online website, accessed 4 December 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/117107
Other
East Suffolk District Council, Westleton Conservation Area: Unlisted structures which make a positive contribution to the conservation area, October 2018

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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].