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Benson War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Benson, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.6208 / 51°37'14"N

Longitude: -1.1109 / 1°6'39"W

OS Eastings: 461648

OS Northings: 191703

OS Grid: SU616917

Mapcode National: GBR B26.7ZD

Mapcode Global: VHCYH.PJKC

Entry Name: Benson War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 August 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1427550

Location: Benson, South Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, OX10

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Benson

Built-Up Area: Benson

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Benson

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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First World War memorial, 1919, with later additions for the Second World War.


Benson War Memorial stands in a small triangle at the junction of Church Road and Oxford Road, in a prominent position at the centre of the village. Built of Cornish granite, it comprises a wheel-head cross decorated on both sides with interlace patterns carved in relief. The cross head rises from a plain shaft, which stands on a tapering plinth. The plinth stands on a three-stepped square base.

The names of those who died fighting during the First World War are recorded on the front and rear of the cross shaft. The inscription on the front face of the plinth reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN THE MEMORY OF THE MEN/ FROM THE PARISH OF BENSON WHO/ LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR KING/ AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR OF/ 1914 - 1918 THEIR FELLOW PARISHIONERS/ HAVE ERECTED THIS MONUMENT/ “THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE”. In addition, the inscription 1939-1945 is carved on the rear of the plinth with the names of those who died in the Second World War listed below. All inscriptions are incised and painted black.

Small plaques fixed to the upper step of the base record the years in which the memorial was awarded Best Kept War Memorial in Oxfordshire status. The plaques are not of special interest. The kerbed area enclosing the memorial retains a flower bed and a brick path leads from the north-eastern edge of the triangle to the memorial.

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, 11 January 2017.


The memorial was paid for by public subscription and erected in 1919. The names of servicemen from the parish who died fighting during the Second World War were added at a later date. In 2005 the memorial’s lettering was re-painted and the kerb around the triangle of ground on which the memorial stands was raised, funded by War Memorials Trust.

Reasons for Listing

Benson War Memorial, situated at the junction of Church Road and Oxford Road, 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 community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Design: a well-executed Celtic cross with carved interlace decoration;
* Group value: with The Old Vicarage (Grade II-listed).

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