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Thurleigh War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Thurleigh, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.2147 / 52°12'52"N

Longitude: -0.4615 / 0°27'41"W

OS Eastings: 505209

OS Northings: 258504

OS Grid: TL052585

Mapcode National: GBR G16.452

Mapcode Global: VHFPV.YLDK

Entry Name: Thurleigh War Memorial

Listing Date: 12 January 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1437345

Location: Thurleigh, Bedford, MK44

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Thurleigh

Built-Up Area: Thurleigh

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Thurleigh

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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First World War memorial, unveiled on 11 September 1921, with further names added after the Second World War.


MATERIALS: Granite wheel cross, marble shield.

DESCRIPTION: Thurleigh war memorial comprises a roughly hewn granite wheel cross, bearing a Sword of Sacrifice in relief at the centre of the wheel cross and down the shaft.

The memorial has a square plinth inscribed on the front face with black painted lead lettering with: TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF / THE MEN OF THURLEIGH / WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR. 1914 – 1918 / (NAMES). Set at the base of the memorial is an inclined marble shield bearing the inscription: THEY DIED FOR ME, / CHRIST DIED FOR ALL. / R.I.P.

On a side face is inscribed: 1939 – 1945 / (NAME)

The memorial is set on a two-stepped base within an area of paving with a path leading up to it.


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 Thurleigh as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Thurleigh War Memorial was unveiled by Major Cumberlege and dedicated by the vicar, Rev C Hemsley, with the minister of the local Baptist Church, Rev W Lea, reading the lesson, on 11 September 1921. It commemorates 12 local servicemen who fell during the First World War.

Following the Second World War one further name was added commemorating a local serviceman who fell in that conflict.

In 2014 the memorial was cleaned and two stone vases missing from each side of the memorial were also replaced.

Reasons for Listing

Thurleigh War Memorial, unveiled 11 September 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;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet dignified granite wheel-head cross;
* Group value: with Novel Hotel (Grade II), Church of St Peter (Grade II*) and the scheduled monument of Bury Hill Camp, a motte and bailey castle.

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