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Warminster War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Warminster, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.207 / 51°12'25"N

Longitude: -2.1819 / 2°10'54"W

OS Eastings: 387387

OS Northings: 145326

OS Grid: ST873453

Mapcode National: GBR 1V6.75V

Mapcode Global: VH97H.4XCL

Entry Name: Warminster War Memorial

Listing Date: 20 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1444659

Location: Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Warminster

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Warminster St Denys

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Summary

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

Description

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

MATERIAL
Bath stone

DESCRIPTION
The memorial is approximately 6.5m high and has a wheel-head cross on a tall, tapering shaft of four sections set upon a shallow, square plinth. The cross is decorated with Celtic-style relief carvings, and at its base the lamb and flag are depicted. The front of the shaft has incised decoration and a carving of St George. Below this is the dedication which reads: IN PROUD & / GRATEFUL / MEMORY OF / WARMINSTER / MEN WHO / FELL IN THE / GREAT WAR / 1914-1919. The lower front part of the shaft is inscribed: 1939-1945. The names of the Fallen from both the First and Second World Wars are listed on the other three sides of the shaft. The NW, NE and SE sides of the plinth are also inscribed with those who died in the Second World War and in Afghanistan. Fixed to the plinth is a stone planter inscribed: BEST KEPT WAR MEMORIAL 1968; there is a similar planter, dated 1964, in front of the memorial.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES
The memorial stands on a paved surface and is set within a small garden which is bounded by low stone rubble walls which originally contained a pedestrian gateway. This has since been replaced by a wider entrance and the piers have been rebuilt. A sculpture was introduced to garden in 2010 which represents the trenches of the First World War.


This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 21 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 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 erected in Warminster, on Portway Corner at the junction between Portway and The Close, on land donated by the fifth Marquess of Bath who also unveiled the memorial on 29 May 1921.The memorial was paid for by public subscription and was designed by Frederick Bligh Bond, Thomas Falconer, Harold Baker and John Campbell; it was carved by monumental mason Egerton Strong. The memorial commemorates the 116 local men who lost their lives during the First World War.

In November 1949 the memorial was re-dedicated when the names of the 52 men who died in the Second World War were added. Since then, the names of two other servicemen, who lost their lives during active service in the 1950s and in Afghanistan respectively, have also been added to the memorial. In 2010 the entrance gateway to the war memorial was widened to improve access, and the garden in which the memorial stands has been re-landscaped.


Reasons for Listing

Warminster War Memorial of 1921 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a striking wheel-head cross with carved decorative detailing and lettering by a renowned architectural practice;
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

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