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Beer War Memorial Cross, including steps, railings and gate to front

A Grade II Listed Building in Beer, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6988 / 50°41'55"N

Longitude: -3.0927 / 3°5'33"W

OS Eastings: 322923

OS Northings: 89361

OS Grid: SY229893

Mapcode National: GBR PD.CJJD

Mapcode Global: FRA 47D7.BYC

Entry Name: Beer War Memorial Cross, including steps, railings and gate to front

Listing Date: 20 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443148

Location: Beer, East Devon, Devon, EX12

County: Devon

District: East Devon

Parish: Beer

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Beer St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled 1922, with later additions for the Second World War.

Description

The granite memorial cross stands outside the Church of St Michael’s (Grade II-listed), at the junction of Fore Street and Church Hill and opposite the Grade II-listed Conduit Head. It takes the form of a 6m tall cross, with a floriated cross head. The cross shaft rises from a pedestal, square on plan, which stands on a three-stepped, octagonal, base. In front of the memorial cross the churchyard walls are cut back, interrupted by a stepped enclosure demarcated from the road by railings with a gate.

The principal dedicatory inscription, in applied metal letters to the front face of the pedestal, reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN/ PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF THE GALLANT MEN/ FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WARS/ 1914 – 1919/ 1939 – 1945. The commemorated First World War names are listed on the sides of the pedestal. The front face of the upper step of the base reads “THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD”. The Second World War names are recorded on the middle stage of the base.


This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 2 March 2017.

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 the country. 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 Beer as a permanent testament to the sacrifices made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Two war memorials were unveiled at St Michael’s Church in the same well-attended ecumenical ceremony held on 16 April 1922. An oak tablet was unveiled by the vicar, Reverend AH Hollis, whilst the granite cross outside the church was unveiled by the Earl of Warwick. Commemorating 25 local servicemen who died in the First World War, both memorials were executed by Messrs Hems and Sons, sculptors, of Exeter. The Bishop of Crediton gave an address. Following the Second World War the names of 11 men who died in that conflict, and one female civilian casualty, were added. Two further First World War names were added in 2011.

Reasons for Listing

Beer War Memorial Cross, including steps, railings and gate to front, standing outside St Michael’s Church, are 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a tall and elegant granite memorial cross;
* Group value: with the Church of St Michael and the Conduit Head opposite, both Grade II-listed.

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