East Cowes Air Raid Protection (Civil Defence) Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1469253
Date first listed:
22-Apr-2020
Statutory Address:
Church of St James, St James's Close, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6PP
Statutory Address:
churchyard of the Church of St James, St James's Close, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6PP

Map

Ordnance survey map of East Cowes Air Raid Protection (Civil Defence) 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.
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Location

Statutory Address:
Church of St James, St James's Close, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6PP
Statutory Address:
churchyard of the Church of St James, St James's Close, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6PP

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

District:
Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
East Cowes
National Grid Reference:
SZ5044295616

Summary

Memorial, erected following the Second World War, to commemorate the loss of members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service.

Reasons for Designation

The East Cowes Civil Defence memorial, East Cowes, Isle of Wight is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of the Second World War on the local community, in particular the sacrifice of those contributing to the defence of the country on the home front; * as a rare example of a memorial solely dedicated to a group of civil defence workers.

Architectural interest:

* the plinth incorporates an evocative and detailed carving which depicts various objects and protective equipment commonly associated with civil defence workers.

Group value:

* with the East Cowes War Memorial (Grade II) opposite, Church of St James (Grade II), and the church gate piers and wall (Grade II).

History

The memorial was erected in the churchyard of the Church of St James in East Cowes to commemorate the loss of four members of the local Air Raid Precautions service people who died while on duty during the Second World War. It was erected by their fellow members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service.

The Air Raid Precautions (ARP) service was created in April 1937. It was created after the First World War, when military experts predicted that in any future war there would be large-scale bombing of the British civilian population, resulting in huge casualties. In 1938 about 200,000 people were involved, with another half a million enrolling during the Munich Crisis of September 1938. By the outbreak of the Second World War there were more than 1.5 million women and men in the ARP, later renamed the Civil Defence. ARP members had a range of duties, with most visible representation being that of air raid wardens. In the early months of the war they were responsible for registering everyone in their sector and enforcing 'blackouts'. ARP wardens would often be first on the scene following air raids, carrying out first aid, extinguishing small fires and helping to organise emergency responses. Other members of the Civil Defence services included rescue and stretcher parties, the staff of control centres and messenger boys. A small percentage of ARP wardens were full-time and were paid a salary, but most were part-time volunteers who carried out their ARP duties as well as full-time job.

The Isle of Wight was subject to frequent German air raids, during the Second World War. Several bombs fell on the area of Cowes and East Cowes, with some of the worst raids occurring on 4 and 5 May 1942, in which two of the East Cowes Civil-Defence service people named on this memorial died.

Details

Memorial, erected following the Second World War, to commemorate the loss of members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service.

MATERIALS: limestone.

DESCRIPTION: a plain Latin cross surmounted on a square plinth. The plinth is topped by a carving intended to represent rubble and incorporates a stone carving depicting an object often used by ARP wardens including a helmet, lamp, and water bottle.

The north-west side of the plinth contains the inscription 'SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF (NAMES)/ KILLED ON DUTY DURING THE WAR 1939-1945/ “WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”/ ERECTED BY THEIR COMRADES OF THE CIVIL DEFENCE/ WARDEN AND AMBULANCE SERVICE EAST COWES.

Sources

Websites
ARP Warden's Memorial ~ IOW, accessed 11 February 2020 from http://sleepinggardens.blogspot.com/2012/06/arp-wardens-memorial-iow.html
ARP Wardens Memorial IOW, accessed 30 March 2020 from http://sleepinggardens.blogspot.com/2012/06/arp-wardens-memorial-iow.html
War Memorials Register: East Cowes ARP Memorial, accessed 11 Feburary 2020 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/21796
WW2 People's War, accessed 11 Feburary 2020 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/timeline/factfiles/nonflash/a6651425.shtml

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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