Leominster War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1470401
Date first listed:
14-Sep-2020
Statutory Address:
Grange Park, Pinsley Road, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8NP

Map

© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. 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 - 1470401.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 03-Aug-2021 at 11:59:10.

Location

Statutory Address:
Grange Park, Pinsley Road, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8NP

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

District:
County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Leominster
National Grid Reference:
SO4985959164

Summary

A war memorial comprising a statue of winged victory,of 1922 by William G Storr-Barber with an adjacent memorial wall.

Reasons for Designation

Leominster War Memorial and memorial wall is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* it is 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 memorial was unveiled in 1922 by John Stanhope Arkwright who had provided the words for the hymn ‘O Valiant Hearts’, which figures prominently in Remembrance Day services throughout the United Kingdom and has been inscribed on the monument plinth.

Architectural interest:

* it is a well-detailed war memorial including a bronze statue of winged victory by William G Storr-Barber; * the memorial wall also has architectural interest and is a well-articulated design.

Group value:

* it has group value with Priory Church of St Peter and St Paul (Grade I and Scheduled Monument) and Grange Court (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. One such memorial was raised at Leominster and unveiled by John Stanhope Arkwright on 17 August 1922 as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by those who fell in the First World War. Arkwright’s poem ‘The Supreme Sacrifice’ (1919) provides the words for the hymn ‘O Valiant Hearts’, which figures prominently in Remembrance Day services throughout the United Kingdom, and has been inscribed on the monument plinth. The year before the erection of the memorial an acorn brought from Verdun, France was planted by Alderman Henry Gosling, MA to the north-east of the memorial site, in memory of the fallen.

After much public debate over the type of memorial to be commissioned, and the choice of a suitable site, the memorial was erected on a former ‘chestnut patch’ in Grange Park, to the south of the entrance to the Priory Church of St Peter and St Paul. It takes the form of a bronze statue of winged victory set on a stone plinth and was designed by local sculptor William G Storr-Barber, who was responsible for a number of memorials across the county and further afield. The memorial is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1928 with a ‘Russian Gun’ marked to the east. This was a spoil of the Crimean War (1853-6), a cannon similar to those installed in many other towns and cities across the country following the end of the war in 1856. The gun is shown on the First Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1887 and was “removed for munitions” in April 1943.

The memorial was later altered with inscriptions from ‘O Valiant Hearts’ in recognition of sacrifices made during the Second World War. In 1955 memorial gates with gates piers and lamps and a plaque were installed at the churchyard entrance to the north. In front of the gates, on the site of the Russian Gun and possibly using its former stone base, a rose garden was created. The new structures were dedicated on Sunday 10 July 1955 by Reverend S M F Woodhouse. To the west of the memorial is a recessed memorial wall with steps, planting and memorial plaques. It is not shown on historic maps and may have been created in the later C20 with reused memorials from the town hall. The memorial and memorial wall were subject to a War Memorials Trust grant repair in 2018.

In 2020 the Verdun Oak has a plaque noting its year of planting. The main gates to the churchyard appear to have been have been replaced and the pedestrian gates and lamps removed. Street furniture memorialising the First World War has been installed next to the former rose garden.

Details

A war memorial of 1922 by William G Storr-Barber with memorial wall.

MATERIALS: constructed of limestone with a bronze sculpture.

DESCRIPTION: comprising a statue of winged victory with right arm raised holding a torch on a tapering plinth and two-stepped base. The plinth is inscribed to the south face: TO/ THE GLORY OF THE/ GIVER OF VICTORY/ AND PEACE AND IN/ PROUD AND GRATEFUL/ REMEMBRANCE OF THE/ MEN OF LEOMINSTER/ WHO LAID DOWN THEIR/ LIVES IN THE CAUSE OF/ HUMANITY IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 18. To the north face: ERECTED/ BY THE CITIZENS OF/ LEOMINSTER/ IN MEMORY OF THEIR/ GLORIOUS DEAD/ A.D. 1922/ AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE/ SUN. AND IN THE MORNING/ WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. To the west: THESE WERE HIS SERVANTS/ IN HIS STEPS THEY TROD/ FOLLOWING THROUGH DEATH/ THE MARTYRD SON OF GOD/ VICTOR HE ROSE/ VICTORIOUS TOO SHALL DRIVE/ THEY WHO HAVE DRUNK/ HIS CUP OF SACRIFICE/ 1939. To the east: O VALIANT HEARTS/ WHO TO THEIR GLORY CAME/ THROUGH DUST OF CONFLICT/ AND THROUGH BATTLE-FLAME/ TRANQUIL YOU LIE/ YOUR KNIGHTLY VIRTUE PROVED/ YOU MEMORY HALLOWED/ IN THE LAND YOU LOVED.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the west of the memorial is a later rubble stone memorial wall with projecting return walls and wings to each side, partly enclosing a small area of bedding with concrete steps to the front. To the centre of the memorial wall is a granite memorial with palm leaf design and inscription: IN GLORIOUS/ HOPE. Three marble plaques to the fallen in the First World War are set within the memorial and inscribed thus: to the left: NAMES; to centre: THE INHABITANTS/ OF LEOMINSTER/ PLACE THIS TABLET/ TO PERPETUATE/ THE MEMORY OF/ THE GALLANT/ MEN FROM/ THE BOROUGH/ WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR HONOUR/ AND FREEDOM IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ OF 1914-1919; to right: NAMES. To the left return wall is a marble plaque inscribed: 1939-45/ ARMY/ NAMES. To the right return wall is a marble plaque inscribed: 1939-45/ ROYAL NAVY/ NAMES/ ROYAL AIR FORCE/ NAMES.

Sources

Websites
Britain’s Crimean War Trophy Guns: The Case of Ludlow and the Marches, ‘History, The Journal of the Historical Association’, Bartlett, R, Payne, R, p663, accessed 29/04/2020 from https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1471065/1/Payne%2C%20R.%20Britain%E2%80%99s%20Crimean%20War%20.pdf
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Arkwright, Sir John Stanhope 1872-1954, accessed 30/04/2020 from https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/98215
UK National Inventory of War Memorials - Leominster, accessed 29/04/2020 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/2208
War Memorials Online - Leominster, accessed 29/04/2020 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/216173/
Other
'Leominster Memorial - Plaque and Gates Erected in The Grange', Kington Times, 13.7.1955

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].