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Ashwater War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashwater, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7343 / 50°44'3"N

Longitude: -4.2886 / 4°17'19"W

OS Eastings: 238592

OS Northings: 95236

OS Grid: SX385952

Mapcode National: GBR NP.3282

Mapcode Global: FRA 17X4.F21

Entry Name: Ashwater War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 20 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443098

Location: Ashwater, Torridge, Devon, EX21

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: Ashwater

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ashwater St Peter ad Vincula

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Summary

First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Description

The memorial stands on the village green, in close proximity to a number of listed buildings including the Church of St Peter (Grade I). The memorial takes the form of a tall granite wheel-head cross. The front face of the cross is ornamented with interlace patterns and spirals carved in low relief. The cross shaft rises from a tapering plinth, which stands on a low step. The memorial is enclosed by railings that are hung from four tall granite posts.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the plinth reads IN HONOUR OF ALL ASHWATER MEN/ WHO FOUGHT IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918/ AND IN MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING/ WHO FELL FOR KING AND COUNTRY/ (12 NAMES). On the rear face of the plinth the later inscription reads ALSO IN HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THOSE WHO PAID THE SUPREME/ SACRIFICE IN THE 1939-1945 WAR/ (4 NAMES)/ GRANT UNTO THEM ETERNAL REST.

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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

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

The village war memorial committee had begun canvassing residents for subscriptions by the Summer of 1919. The Ashwater cross had been delivered by September 1920, to be erected on the village green. The memorial commemorates 12 local servicemen who died in the First World War. Following the Second World War the details of four men who died in that conflict were added.

Reasons for Listing

Ashwater War Memorial Cross, which stands on the village green, 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 local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an intricately ornamented granite memorial cross in the Celtic style;
* Group value: with the Church of St Peter (Grade I), Bell Tower Cottage (Grade II*), and Grade II-listed buildings around the village green.

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