War memorials built before end of First World War receive protected status

The Amington Cemetery War Memorial in Tamworth, Staffordshire (Historic England/PA)
The Amington Cemetery War Memorial in Tamworth, Staffordshire (Historic England/PA)

A series of war memorials erected a century ago, before the end of the First World War, have been given protected status.

The memorials built by communities in 1917 range from a grave marker for children killed in a classroom during an air raid to a peace cross erected as a plea for peace and a tribute to the sacrifices made by the village where it stands.

Eight memorials reaching their century this year have been given Grade II listed status by the Government on the advice of heritage agency Historic England as the UK marks Armistice Day.

And an obelisk marking the site of a hospital for Indian troops has had its Grade II listing updated to fully reflect its historical importance.

Although most First World War memorials were not constructed until the end of the conflict, some were built before the fighting finished, providing a “focal point” to people’s grief and a symbol to those still fighting, Historic England said.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “Our local war memorials act as a permanent reminder of the lasting effects the First World War had on communities across the UK and the bravery of those who served.

“As we enter the final year of our centenary commemorations, it is important that we continue to remember the sacrifice made by those who never came home.”

The eight newly listed memorials are:

:: East London Cemetery Company War Memorial, Plaistow, London, which carries an all-encompassing dedication to servicemen, their families and the British allies;

:: Grave Marker Poplar Air Raid, East London Cemetery, Plaistow, London, marking the mass grave of of 15 out of 18 children killed by a bombing raid on June 13 1917, most of whom were just five or six years old;

:: Amington Cemetery War Memorial, Tamworth, Staffordshire, presented by a local businessman whose son had been reported missing, but returned home at the end of the war having been a prisoner in Germany.

:: Burton in Wirral Peace Cross, Cheshire, which was not erected to commemorate fallen servicemen by name but as a plea for peace and a tribute to the sacrifices made by the village during the conflict.

:: Winsford First World War Memorial, Over, Winsford, Cheshire, erected in the churchyard at the parish church of St Chad in 1917 and names of local servicemen killed added as the parish was notified – with some 200 now on the memorial

:: Patrington War Memorial, Holderness, Humberside, a striking memorial on the main road, which when built carried the names of all the village’s men who were serving in the war, as well as those who had lost their lives.

:: Ecton War Memorial Shrine, Northampton, which was funded by Mrs Edith Sotheby, whose son Lionel Frederick Southwell Sotherby died in 1915, with his name the first on the roll of honour;

:: St Giles War Memorial, Reading, a calvary cross war memorial constructed mainly of teak, and dedicated on Christmas Day 1917.

One memorial has had its Grade II listing enhanced:

:: Memorial Obelisk to Convalescent Depot for Indian Troops, Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire, a granite obelisk marking the site of the hospital that served Indian soldiers and one of only two freestanding memorials in England commemorating Indian servicemen.

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