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Atherington War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Atherington, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.99 / 50°59'23"N

Longitude: -4.0089 / 4°0'32"W

OS Eastings: 259103

OS Northings: 123094

OS Grid: SS591230

Mapcode National: GBR KT.KS8M

Mapcode Global: FRA 26HH.G0L

Entry Name: Atherington War Memorial Cross

Location: Atherington, North Devon, Devon, EX37

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Parish: Atherington

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Listing Date: 14 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443101

Summary

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

Description

The memorial cross stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary (Grade I-listed), overlooking the road through the village. In granite, it takes the form of a tall cross with a Maltese cross head and tapering cross shaft. The cross shaft rises from a plinth, square on plan, which stands on a low step. The front face of the cross is decorated with a further cross shape carved in low relief whilst on the cross shaft a sword, unusually with the hilt downwards, is carved in relief.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the foot of the cross shaft reads TO THE/ GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF THIS/ PARISH WHO FELL IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918. The First World War names are recorded on the front face of the plinth, reading (4 NAMES)/ AND THREE BROTHERS/ (3 NAMES). The Second World War names are recorded in a recessed panel to one side of the plinth, reading 1939 – 1945/ (2 NAMES).

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 Atherington 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 memorial was unveiled by Colonel LAH Hamilton in May 1920, in commemoration of seven local servicemen who had died in the First World War. Following the Second World War the details of two men who died in that conflict were added.

Reasons for Listing

Atherington War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard, 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: a simple yet poignant granite memorial cross;
* Group value: with the Church of St Mary (Grade I) and the Lych Gate and numerous churchyard monuments listed at Grade II.

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