Enrich the List
132 Nationwide War Memorials Listed Ahead of Armistice Day
Ahead of Armistice Day, 132 war memorials have been listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
Built in the aftermath of the First World War (1914-1918), the recently listed memorials are among tens of thousands that were erected across England in memory of the many people who lost their lives in the conflict, never to return home.
In place of graves, these memorials became focal points for local communities to mourn and honour their dead. Nationally, The Cenotaph in Whitehall is seen as the country’s main memorial and this year marks the centenary of its erection.
Among those memorials listed this year is Leighton Buzzard Memorial which is understood to have been formed from the largest single undressed granite block ever quarried in the United Kingdom, and Old Basing War Memorial, Basingstoke, which commemorates 25 local men lost in a wide range of locations such as France, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Gallipoli, and includes the names of two brothers who sadly died on the same day, whilst in the same regiment.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the public has been asked to mark Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day at home, making the listings an important part of national commemorations.
Each year on Remembrance Sunday we come together as a nation in silence to remember and give thanks to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. In our towns, cities and villages, memorials stand to these brave men and women. I am very pleased that this year, as we mark the centenary of the Cenotaph itself, we have protected 132 memorials so that future generations can learn about those who gave so much to our country.
Our War Memorials across the country remind us of the huge sacrifices made by generations in the conflicts of the last century, and provide communities with a focal point to express their gratitude and loss. We are proud to continue our work in recognising and protecting these important public monuments so future generations can continue to honour and remember the fallen.
Old Basing War Memorial, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Grade II
This First World War memorial cross in the grounds of the St Mary’s Church was unveiled and dedicated in 1921 in front of a large crowd of relatives- men who had served in the war, Red Cross nurses, Girl Guides, parishioners and clergy. It commemorates 25 local men, their names inscribed onto the plinth and steps, with the regiment and the place in which they fell. The range of locations from France, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Gallipoli, to those lost at sea, brings home the international reach of the war, and a reminder that many men travelled further from home than they ever had before.
A moving address by the vicar at the dedication is recorded by the local paper the Hants & Berks Gazette, where he said that memorials “provide us with a stimulus for recollection. They remind us day by day of those whose memories might possibly as years go by become dimmed and blurred.”
A local initiative is collating information on the men commemorated to bring out the stories behind the names, including the Tigwell brothers who died on the same day, in the same regiment.
East Cowes Air Raid Protection Memorial, Isle of Wight: Grade II
This memorial was erected in the churchyard of the St James Church in East Cowes to commemorate the loss of four members of the local Air Raid Precautions (ARP) service people who died while on duty during the Second World War – Senior Warden Edward Kersey (46), Warden Montague B B Brinton (37), Warden William M Cowburn (37), and Mrs Alice F Hann of the Women's Voluntary Services (63).
It was commissioned by their fellow members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service. 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. The base of the cross memorial is carved to represent an ARP wardens helmet, lamp and water bottle amongst rubble.
Bridley Manor War Memorial, near Worplesdon, Guilford, Surrey: Grade II
This memorial is located in the centre of a small green at the junction of Bagshot Road and Berry Lane and commemorates troops stationed at nearby Bullswater and Pirbright Camps who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial marks the spot that thousands of men who trained at the camps would have passed by on their way to the front.
It was erected in 1922 and designed by the locally-based London Necropolis Company Ltd. The site was a gift from a Captain T. W. Craig, and the cross was funded by Mr and Mrs Cecil Braithwaite, the occupants of Bridley Manor.
The Woking News & Mail reported at the time that at the unveiling Major-General Butler said, “During the years of the war there were tens of thousands of men who trained in the vicinity, not only from all parts of the United Kingdom, but also from the Dominions and Colonies". The cross stands here as a memorial to the representatives of the British nation from all parts of the world.
Machine Gun Corps War Memorial, Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone: Grade II
Located just inside the gates to the Cheriton Road Cemetery, this memorial commemorates the fallen from the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) and in turn marks the role that the machine gun played in the First World War, and its subsequent prominence in the popular memory of the conflict.
The MGC was formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front. The memorial was originally located at the junction of Cherry Garden Avenue and Cheriton Road and was unveiled on 19 February 1921 by Major-General Sir F H Sykes. A souvenir programme was produced for the unveiling which listed the names, rank and unit of the 497 dead. The memorial was moved to its present location at some point after 1970.
The London North Western Railway (LNWR) and London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Crewe Tranship Shed: Grade II
A First World War memorial of 1925 with Second World War additions, commissioned by railway companies LNWR and LMS. It was raised at Crewe as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 20 men from the Crewe tranship shed of the London and North Western Railway who lost their lives in the First World War.
The memorial was originally located in the Basford Hall Sidings on Gresty Road. 211 men from the staff volunteered, of whom nearly ten per cent gave their lives. The memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1925 by the district goods manager WH Phillips, and dedicated by the reverend of St Andrew’s Church, Crewe.
Following the Second World War (after merger had seen the facility become part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway), five names from that conflict were added. In 1999, the memorial was relocated to prevent damage from heavy vehicles entering the original site. Railtrack and the Railway Heritage Trust, with help from local firms, cleaned and moved the memorial to the grounds of Christ Church, which was built by the railways and designed by one of their rail engineers.
Poulton-le-Fylde War Memorial: Grade II
Poulton-le-Fylde War Memorial was unveiled in 1921, commemorating 43 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. Composed of granite, bronze and slate, the memorial has strong design interest – it is in the form of a market cross, with Art Nouveau inscriptions.
Originally erected in Queens Square, it was relocated to its current location on 1 August 1979 when the road layout was altered. The last name on the roll of honour has been blanked out suggesting that a formerly missing soldier was found after the plaque was first prepared.
After the Second World War a similar plaque was made, listing 41 names. One name has been added at the end of this list, and an additional plaque lists a further three names. These plaques are now fixed to a modern slate plinth, and face the memorial. On the rear of this plinth an additional plaque commemorates a 2013 casualty of the war in Afghanistan.
East of England
Leighton Buzzard War Memorial: Grade II
Leighton Buzzard War Memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1920, by Lord Ampthill, in a dedication service which commemorated 171 who fell in the First World War. The monument is understood to have been formed from the largest single undressed granite block ever quarried in the United Kingdom, and weighed over 22 tons.
Thelnetham War Memorial, Suffolk: Grade II
This stone Maltese cross memorial, sited in the churchyard of Grade I listed St Nicholas Church, Thelnetham, was unveiled in April 1921 by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the son of the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, who was a local resident.
Lavington United Reformed Church and attached Primary Hall and schoolroom, Bideford, Devon: Grade II*
Lavington United Reform Church, Bideford, dating to 1856-1859 by local architect EM White; and the attached Primary Hall and schoolroom, rebuilt and extended in 1923-1924, are listed at Grade II*. It is an intact early example of a non-conformist church in Decorated Gothic style, with good-quality timber fittings and distinguished towers.
The Primary Hall and schoolroom extension represent a period of growing demand for provision for the congregation. The Hall and schoolroom stand 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 twentieth century.
In 1862 a new schoolroom was opened to the rear (north) of the church. This is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey (OS) Town Plan of 1888, which labels the schoolroom as a Sunday School and also states that Lavington Chapel had seating for 600.
A plaque in the schoolroom records that it was constructed and extended to commemorate the sacrifices of the First World War in 1923. The extension was opened as the Primary Memorial Hall in April 1924. It had cost £1,200, much of which was raised by public subscription.
North East and Yorkshire
Edlington War Memorial, Doncaster: Grade II
Edlington War Memorial is a limestone First World War memorial from the early 1920s, with Second World War and Falkland War additions. It was originally dedicated to the men of the Yorkshire Main Colliery, who were killed during the First World War.
Following the Second World War, a further 42 names were added to the memorial. The memorial is thought to have originally been located at the entrance to Yorkshire Main Colliery, but it was moved during the mid-1970s to its present location.
Rossington War Memorial: Grade II
Rossington War Memorial is a simple yet poignant memorial in the form of a Greek cross. Erected as a First World War memorial in 1944, it has additions for later 20th century conflicts.
Unusually it was raised by a British Legion Women's Section during the Second World War, and records almost twice as many casualties from that conflict as from the First World War, including two women.
Memorial Chapel at St Mount St Mary’s College: Grade II
The intact memorial chapel at Mount St Mary's College, built between 1922 and 1924 to the designs of Adrian Gilbert Scott, is listed at Grade II for its elegant and sophisticated design, achieved by economical means in the inter-war period. Gilbert Scott revised his original plans due to the school’s financial constraints, and managed to secure offcuts of marble for the sanctuary.
It is an early but accomplished design by Adrian Gilbert Scott, an ecclesiastical architect who achieved great success and renown during his lifetime, a number of whose works are listed, some at high grades. It still retains its original features, and is a moving example of the sacrifices made by the school.
In 2014, Historic England committed to listing 2,500 war memorials by the end of 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. It achieved this target, listing 2,645, but decided to continue the work as many more cherished memorials worthy of listing status were identified.