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Yaxley War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Yaxley, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3225 / 52°19'20"N

Longitude: 1.1106 / 1°6'38"E

OS Eastings: 612084

OS Northings: 273930

OS Grid: TM120739

Mapcode National: GBR TJJ.CLJ

Mapcode Global: VHL9F.6WHG

Plus Code: 9F4384C6+X7

Entry Name: Yaxley War Memorial

Listing Date: 16 May 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1432459

Location: Yaxley, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP23

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Yaxley

Built-Up Area: Yaxley

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Yaxley St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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Yaxley War Memorial, unveiled in 1921 and dedicated to the fallen of the First World War with later inscriptions added to commemorate those who fell in the Second World War.


Yaxley War Memorial was completed in February 1921 (with inscriptions added after the Second World War), built by Hanchets monumental masons to the designs of Rev W A Wickham.

MATERIALS: built with Clipsham stone.

PLAN: square in plan-form.

DESCRIPTION: the monument, which stands approximately 4 metres in height, takes the form of a Latin cross with octagonal tapered shaft positioned on an octagonal step surmounting a square-plan plinth, corniced base and platform. The collar of the tapered shaft, beneath the cross, is marked with a carved detail of a crown. The frontal face of the plinth bears a recessed panel inscribed with the epitaph ‘REMEMBER IN CHRIST THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO GAVE THEIR / LIVES DURING THE GREAT WAR, A.D. 1914-1918’ and the names of eight local men who fell in the conflict. Following the Second World War, a further inscription was made on the east face of the plinth '(NAMES)/ 1939 - 1945' to commemorate three of the fallen from that conflict.

The memorial is set to the north of the Church of St Mary (listed Grade I, NHLE 1033114) and is prominently positioned in the churchyard facing the junction of Old Ipswich Road and Church Lane. Situated opposite the war memorial, on the west side of Old Ipswich Road, is a private school house and associated dwellings (listed Grade II, NHLE 1181748) and on the east side of Church Lane is Sewell House (listed Grade II, NHLE 1284872).

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 23 November 2017.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Prior to then memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, 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.

Yaxley War Memorial was erected in memory of eight local men who fell in the First World War (1914-18), built to the designs of Rev W A Wickham, a local antiquarian and the Rector of the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Ampton, Suffolk (located approximately 20 miles west of Yaxley). Rev W A Wickham felt the tragic consequences of the war first-hand, his only son, Lieutenant B W T Wickham, having been killed in action in April 1917 shortly after being awarded the Military Cross for ‘conspicuous gallantry’. Following the war, Wickham produced designs for two other Suffolk memorials; one at Ingham and another at Great Thurlow, which were unveiled in November 1919 and April 1921 respectively, both being very closely related in design to the Yaxley memorial. The firm responsible for erecting the war memorial were renowned Suffolk monumental masons Hanchets (established 1776), who built and carved at least 20 other First World War memorials in the Suffolk area.

The memorial was unveiled at a ceremony held in February 1921 which was attended by Lord Charles Henniker (1872-1956), sixth Baron Henniker and third Baron Hartismere, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Rifle Brigade who had entered the Army in 1891 and served in conflicts in the north west Frontier of India between 1897 and 1898 and then in the First World War. Following the Second World War (1939-45) the names of three of the fallen from that conflict were added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Yaxley War Memorial, unveiled in 1921, set to the north of the Church of St Mary, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: as a prominent and eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;

* Design: as a well-executed Latin cross memorial with a set of original carved inscriptions to the plinth.

* Group value: for the strong group value it holds with the Grade I listed Church of St Mary, situated to the south of the memorial, along with other listed buildings on Old Ipswich Road and Church Lane, which border the churchyard.

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