Help Look After War Memorials

Over the centenary of the First World War, we have been in partnership with Civic Voice, Imperial War Museums (IWM), War Memorials Trust and the public on a four-year programme to ensure war memorials across the country are protected and the people they commemorate remembered.

Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the First World War Memorials Programme (FWWMP) has recorded, conserved and listed the nation’s war memorials to protect them for the next hundred years and beyond.

Funding

War Memorials Trust has distributed over £2 million in grant funding to 600 memorials across the UK through the FWWMP to support repair and conservation projects.

Many of these grants were for small repairs and others have allowed big complex memorial structures to be cared for.  In 2016-17 grants of over £72,000 were given for repairs to Crich Stand, a colossal 20 metre tall memorial to the Sherwood Foresters Regiment that towers over the Derbyshire landscape. Many of the nation’s more unusual memorials have also received funding, including memorial bells, clocks and stained glass windows.

Infographic: £2 million spent on war memorial repair

Supporting communities

Alongside the programme partners, we have worked with communities and schools to ensure that war memorials across the country are cared for and protected.

Civic Voice held workshops on behalf of the FWWMP, with civic societies, universities and community groups, encouraging some 3,000 attendees to carry out condition surveys and share their results. Volunteers and schools were also encouraged to research and put forward their local war memorials for listing.

Infographic: 300,000 attended war memorial workshops

I think it is important to look after memorials because they are an important part of our heritage. With them being there we can pay our respects for the soldiers who gave their today for our tomorrow.

Edward, Year 6 John Randall Primary School

Advice and conservation

During the centenary, many communities undertook repair and conservation works to their local memorials so that they could continue to act as fitting tributes to those who died.  War Memorials Trust provided guidance on best conservation practice and supported applicants through the grant process, making nearly 700 site visits to assess the condition of war memorials first hand.

To support this work, we have created technical guidance to ensure that heritage professionals and conservators have the advice they need to care for the nation’s war memorials for many years to come.

Visit WMT website for practical advice, read our technical guidance or watch our conservation videos.

Infographic: 600 war memorials helped

Protection through listing

At the beginning of the centenary there were more telephone boxes on the National Heritage List for England than war memorials.

Since then, over 2500 war memorials have been added and upgraded on the List as part of the Programme, recognising the crucial role memorials play as part of our First World War heritage.

Some listings were carried out in commemoration of events during the war, but most were of small local memorials. Many such listings were put forward by members of the towns and villages themselves.

Find out if your local memorial is listed

Sharing information and research

Alongside IWM and War Memorials Trust, we have worked with volunteers across the country to ensure that online information about war memorials is as accessible as possible.

The IWM’s War Memorial’s Register is now a central entry point to much important research about memorials. It links to:

The War Memorials Register also holds the names of over 1 million men and women named on memorials across the country, allowing everyone to search which memorials family members are commemorated on.

Infographic: 1 Million names of the fallen added to the IWM war memorials register

How to get involved

The First World War Memorials Programme may be complete, but there are still many ways to get involved:

  • Enrich the list – find out if your local war memorial is listed and share your knowledge and photos

Teachers and educators, why not survey the condition of a local memorial with your students to show them how they can get involved? You can also download a range of teaching resources from War Memorials Trust.

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