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Ledbury War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Ledbury, County of Herefordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0369 / 52°2'12"N

Longitude: -2.423 / 2°25'22"W

OS Eastings: 371083

OS Northings: 237693

OS Grid: SO710376

Mapcode National: GBR FZ.FTV4

Mapcode Global: VH860.Y2FC

Entry Name: Ledbury War Memorial

Listing Date: 23 September 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1429169

Location: Ledbury, County of Herefordshire, HR8

County: County of Herefordshire

Civil Parish: Ledbury

Built-Up Area: Ledbury

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Ledbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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Summary


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

Description

MATERIALS: Portland stone, granite, glass mosaic, ceramic tiles.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial stands in front of the gatehouse to St Katherine’s Hospital and Almshouses (Grade II) and adjacent to the Market House (Grade I), at the northern end of High Street in Ledbury. It is c6.5m tall. A gilded eternal flame is set on a tapering shaft, rising from a lozenge-shaped, two-stage, base. The two stages of the base are marked by a string course. The cardinal faces of the base are chamfered, forming pilasters that carry decorative panels. The monument stands on a shallow hexagonal step.

Three of the pilasters on the lower stage of the base are decorated with mosaics depicting an angel (east face), a First World War soldier (north face) and a First World War sailor (south face). The fourth pilaster on the west face of the memorial carries a granite plaque that bears the principal inscription TO THE/ GLORY OF GOD/ AND TO THE/ IMMORTAL MEMORY/ OF THE GALLANT MEN/ FROM THIS TOWN WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY IN THE/ GREAT EUROPEAN WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ “GREATER LOVE HATH/ NO MAN THAN THIS”. Granite plaques on the lower stage located between each pilaster bear the names of those servicemen who died in the First World War.

Originally at least three short broken columns were placed on the top of the First World War memorial around the foot of the shaft. The upper stage of the base replaced these. Added in 1988, it follows the same plan as the earlier section. The portrait of an RAF airman with a Lancaster bomber and a Spitfire in flight are rendered in ceramic tiles on the eastern pilaster. The main Second World War dedication is carried on a granite plaque on the western pilaster, reading LET US REMEMBER/ BEFORE GOD THE/ MEN OF THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES IN THE CAUSE/ OF FREEDOM/ 1939 – 1945. Plaques recording the names of the servicemen who died during the Second World War are fixed around the upper stage.

A small rectangular plaque below the angel mosaic lists two more names. All inscriptions are incised into the granite plaques and in-filled with white paint. Four small pyramidal blocks, designed as posts for a chain-link fence, are placed at the corners of the memorial. The memorial itself is surrounded by the cobbled pavement.

History

Ledbury War Memorial was unveiled and dedicated on 5 December 1920 at a ceremony attended by Major General Sir Elliott Wood, in commemoration of 82 servicemen who died during the First World War. It was designed and executed by the firm of King & Co Hereford at a cost of £660. After the erection of the memorial, the base was incorporated into the surrounding pedestrian way. The memorial’s upper stage and plaques bearing the names of those who fell in the Second World War were added in 1988. The memorial was re-dedicated on 10 May that year in a ceremony attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire. The funds to do this were raised by public subscription.

Reasons for Listing

Ledbury War Memorial, situated on the 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;
* Design: an unusual war memorial in a Classical vein;
* Group value: with the Market House (Grade I), St Katherine’s Hospital and Almshouses (Grade II) and a number of other listed buildings on the High Street.

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