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Highworth War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Highworth, Swindon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6311 / 51°37'51"N

Longitude: -1.7117 / 1°42'42"W

OS Eastings: 420049

OS Northings: 192515

OS Grid: SU200925

Mapcode National: GBR 4TL.L2S

Mapcode Global: VHC0Q.88YF

Plus Code: 9C3WJ7JQ+C8

Entry Name: Highworth War Memorial

Listing Date: 15 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1432880

Location: Highworth, Swindon, SN6

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Highworth

Built-Up Area: Highworth

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Highworth with Sevenhampton and Inglesham

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

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Summary


First World War memorial, 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.

Description

The war memorial stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Michael (Grade I). It is close to the west boundary of the churchyard bordered by Lechlade Road, from whence the church tower, including the faces of the war memorial clock, form the backdrop to the memorial.

The stone memorial, c5m tall, comprises a three-stepped base surmounted by an octagonal two-stage plinth and slim, octagonal, shaft bearing a lantern. A soldier and sailor are carved in the lantern. First World War names are carved on the upper stage of the plinth and Second World War names are carved on the lower stage. The memorial bears resemblance in structure and design to the nearby war memorial at Wroughton which is listed at Grade II.

All inscriptions are incised and painted in black enamel. The principal inscription on the front face of the plinth’s upper stage reads IN GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF THIS/ TOWN WHO LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/. For the Second World War the dates 1939 – 1945 have been added below, to the lower stage. An inscription on the rear of the upper stage reads “THEY DIED/ THAT WE/ MIGHT LIVE” and the remaining two faces are ornamented with shields.

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, 16 December 2016.

History

In May 1919 a group of local ex-servicemen enquired of Highworth Town Council what plans there were to commemorate their fallen comrades. Following public meetings to discuss suggestions, the Minister of the Congregational Church proposed that a cross be erected in the churchyard of the parish church. A committee led the fundraising drive.

Highworth War Memorial was unveiled by Mrs James Arkell and dedicated by Canon Wrangham at a ceremony held on 10 April 1921, commemorating 39 local servicemen who died during the First World War. The base of the memorial had been built using stone from the old Tithe Barn that once stood in the town. After the Second World War further inscriptions were added to commemorate those who died in that conflict. Following restoration costing £2,000 in 2013, led by Highworth Historical Society, the memorial was re-dedicated on 3 May 2015.

Reasons for Listing

Highworth War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Michael, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an elegant lantern cross in the medieval style, depicting a First World War soldier and sailor;
* Group value: with the Church of St Michael (Grade I).

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