A First World War Memorial to the men of Brize Norton, erected by Messrs Knowles and Son of Oxford between 1919 and 1920.
Reasons for Designation
Brize Norton War Memorial, constructed between 1919 and 1920, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons.
* as a good quality example of a popular form of war memorial with detailed, ornamental stone carving;
* for its prominent and imposing presence in the historic centre of Brize Norton.
* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the parish of Brize Norton and the 18 local men who lost their lives in the First World War.
* with the Church of St Britius (NHLE: 1368227; Grade II*), just to the north of the war memorial.
The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of war memorials erected across the country. The huge impact on communities of the loss of three-quarters of a million British lives, along with the official policy of not repatriating the dead, meant that memorials became the main focus of remembrance.
One such memorial was erected in the village of Brize Norton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 18 men from the parish who lost their lives in the First World War. Two of the fallen whose names are inscribed on the memorial, Frank Lock and Thomas W Powell, also have private monuments in the extension to the St Britius Churchyard on the east side of Station Road.
The memorial was erected by Messrs Knowles and Son of Oxford, who also erected war memorials at Kidlington and Hamlets (NHLE: 1438973; Grade II) and at Long Hanborough (NHLE: 1453232; Grade II). A photograph in the 11 February 1920 issue of the Oxford Journal Illustrated indicates that the Brize Norton memorial had been erected by that date.
At a later date, prior to 1950, the memorial was enclosed by a low fence of vertical, hoop-topped iron railings* and flower beds were planted around the plinth. The railings are not included in the listing. Following the Second World War, a further inscription was added to commemorate C. J. E. Millis, who died in that war.
On 7 November 2014, a row of 18 poplar trees was planted on nearby Brize Norton Recreation Ground alongside a memorial plaque, representing the 18 men whose names are inscribed on the village war memorial. The same men have leant their surnames to the streets of the Brize Meadow housing development, which began construction in 2019 to the west of Brize Norton Village.
A First World War Memorial erected by Messrs Knowles and Son of Oxford between 1919 and 1920.
A stone memorial cross.
The memorial consists of a four-stepped, octagonal plinth supporting a skirted, square base, in turn surmounted by an octagonal transition base with square, chamfered footings and quatrefoil motifs to four of its faces. The bottom step of the plinth has deep, chamfered mouldings to the top and bottom. The top step has a section in the shape of an eight-pointed star but with octagonal, chamfered footings. Rising from the base is a square-footed, tapering shaft with an octagonal section and moulded, octagonal necking. At the top of the memorial is a decoratively-carved wheel cross with floriated arms.
The front (south) face of the square base bears the following inscription in relief: IN GRATEFUL AND LOVING MEMORY/ OF THE BRIZE~NORTON MEN WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR ENGLAND/ AND FREEDOM. 1914~1918. Immediately below this is another relief inscription flanked by a cross pattée to either side: “THEIR NAME LIVETH/ FOR EVERMORE.” The other three faces bear the names of 18 local men who lost their lives in the First World War. On the front face, a further relief inscription has been added to the skirting of the square base, which reads: 1939 C. J. E. MILLIS 1945.
The enclosing railings* are not included in the listing.
* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest, however any works which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require LBC and this is a matter for the LPA to determine.