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Bampton War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Bampton, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9904 / 50°59'25"N

Longitude: -3.4893 / 3°29'21"W

OS Eastings: 295568

OS Northings: 122281

OS Grid: SS955222

Mapcode National: GBR LH.KZT7

Mapcode Global: FRA 36LH.DFK

Entry Name: Bampton War Memorial Cross

Location: Bampton, Mid Devon, Devon, EX16

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Parish: Bampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Listing Date: 20 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443137

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled 1921, with later additions.

Description

The memorial stands at the junction of High Street and South Molton Road, in a circular enclosure defined by railings to the rear and four posts carrying a spiked chain to the front. The rough-hewn Devon granite cross, circa 3.5m tall, rises from a tapering plinth, square on plan, which stands on a two-stepped base.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the plinth reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN SACRED MEMORY OF/ FORTY ONE PARISHIONERS/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE/ GREAT WAR 1914 - 1919./ GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN/ THAN THAT HE GIVETH HIS/ LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS./ (NAMES). The remaining First World War names are listed to either side of the plinth. The later inscription to the front face of the upper step of the base reads 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).

The Victoria Cross tablet for Captain Anketell Moutray Read is inserted into the circular platform, in front of the memorial cross.

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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Bampton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

In January 1919 a public meeting, held to discuss proposals for Bampton’s war memorial, favoured the idea of a town hall. By April 1921, however, the War Memorial Committee was in receipt of permission from the County Council to erect a monument at the junction of South Molton Road and the High Street. The memorial cost circa £180, including the posts and railings of the enclosure. It was unveiled on 23 October 1921 at an ecumenical ceremony by Private WC Carnell, a soldier blinded by shrapnel whilst serving with the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

The memorial commemorates 41 local servicemen who died in the First World War. Following the Second World the names of 13 men who died in that conflict were added. In October 2015 a commemorative paving slab was inset into the platform in front of the memorial cross, marking the service of Captain Anketell Moutray Read VC (d1915). At the same time a further name was added to the memorial to mark a local soldier who had died in Flanders in 1915.

Reasons for Listing

Bampton War Memorial Cross, which stands at the junction of South Molton Road and High Street, 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 war memorial cross in Devon granite.

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