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Whitchurch War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Whitchurch Urban, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9687 / 52°58'7"N

Longitude: -2.6765 / 2°40'35"W

OS Eastings: 354664

OS Northings: 341474

OS Grid: SJ546414

Mapcode National: GBR 7L.K4C0

Mapcode Global: WH89H.VMNZ

Entry Name: Whitchurch War Memorial

Listing Date: 10 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441322

Location: Whitchurch Urban, Shropshire, SY13

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Whitchurch Urban

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Whitchurch St Alkmund

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled on 11 November 1920, with further names added after the Second World War.

Description

MATERIALS: Hollington stone.

DESCRIPTION: Whitchurch War Memorial is located on Station Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire. It consists of a stone obelisk with a wreath wrapped around the top. The obelisk is set upon a multi-stepped plinth. On the front face of the top section of the plinth is a carved Latin cross and below this is a plaque with the main dedication which reads: IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF THE MEN FROM THIS TOWN WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE/ GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918/ “FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH”.

The other faces of the bottom section of the plinth have plaques fixed to them with the names of the fallen from the First World War. The names of the fallen from the Second World War are inscribed on two plaques which are fixed to the upper section of the plinth and are preceded by 1939 – 1945.

The memorial is bounded by a low kerb and surrounded by metal posts at each corner connected with chain link. It is set within an enclosure on a raised site defined by low stone walls and a stepped approach. Behind the memorial is an associated stone sundial which is inscribed at the base: AT THE GOING/ DOWN OF THE/ SUN AND IN THE/ MORNING WE/ WILL REMEMBER/ THEM.

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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at Whitchurch as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

A site was donated by the Misses Kent and the memorial cost £900 and was designed by the architect William Webb of Whitchurch who was responsible for a number of buildings in the area including 40-42 High Street, Whitchurch (Grade II). The memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1920 and dedicated by the Rev Sidney Dugdale. It commemorates 156 local servicemen who fell during the First World War. 

Archival photographs show that the enclosure was constructed with the memorial and was an integral part of the design and its outline can be seen on the 1926 Ordnance Survey map. The sundial within the enclosure carries lines from Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen.

Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the 40 fallen of that conflict.

Reasons for Listing

Whitchurch War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Design: an elegant and striking obelisk sited within its original well-executed enclosure and including an inscribed sundial.

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