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Marston Moreteyne War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Marston Moretaine, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0629 / 52°3'46"N

Longitude: -0.5482 / 0°32'53"W

OS Eastings: 499624

OS Northings: 241492

OS Grid: SP996414

Mapcode National: GBR G2V.L6W

Mapcode Global: VHFQL.GD1Y

Entry Name: Marston Moreteyne War Memorial

Listing Date: 9 May 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1434741

Location: Marston Moretaine, Central Bedfordshire, MK43

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Marston Moretaine

Built-Up Area: Marston Moretaine

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Marston Morteyne

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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First World War memorial designed by Messrs William Morris and Co and unveiled in 1921.
Further names were added after the Second World War.


MATERIALS: Portland stone cross.

DESCRIPTION: Marston Moreteyne War Memorial is set in a lawn at the junction of Station Road and Bedford Road in Marston Moreteyne. It consists of a Latin cross rising from a tapering octagonal shaft. The shaft sits on a square plinth with chamfered corners on a three-stepped base. On the north face of the memorial is an incised inscription which reads: IN GRATEFUL MEMORY / OF THE MEN OF / MARSTON / WHO FOUGHT AND OF THE FOLLOWING / WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914 - 1918 / (NAMES). The north face reads: 1939 - 1945 / (NAMES). The east and west faces also have incised lists of names.

The memorial is surrounded by limestone pillars linked with steel chains.


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 raised at Marston Moreteyne (now Moretaine) as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War. The architect for the memorial was Messrs William Morris and Co. and the builder was Messrs SW Jarvis and Son. The memorial was unveiled by the Duke of Bedford on 13 March 1921 at a dedication service performed by Rev AR Johnson. It commemorates the 42 servicemen who died in the First World War with a dedication and names of the 11 fallen from the Second World War having been added later.

In 2014 a project was undertaken to clean the memorial to improve the legibility of the inscriptions.

Reasons for Listing

Marston Moreteyne War Memorial unveiled 1921 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Design: as an elegant and well-executed Portland stone cross and square plinth set in a surrounding pillar and chain enclosure.

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