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Bourton-on-the-Water War Memorial including gated enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8847 / 51°53'4"N

Longitude: -1.7582 / 1°45'29"W

OS Eastings: 416741

OS Northings: 220704

OS Grid: SP167207

Mapcode National: GBR 4QF.SCR

Mapcode Global: VHB1W.GWWL

Plus Code: 9C3WV6MR+VP

Entry Name: Bourton-on-the-Water War Memorial including gated enclosure

Listing Date: 15 September 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1437918

Location: Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold, Gloucestershire, GL54

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Bourton-on-the-Water

Built-Up Area: Bourton-on-the-Water

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Bourton-on-the-Water with Clapton St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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


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

Bourton-on-the-Water War Memorial is located on the green beside the River Windrush, at the junction of High Street and Sherborne Street and in close proximity to a number of Grade II-listed structures. The tall stone memorial takes the form of a Latin cross rising from a moulded collar on a tapering octagonal shaft. That stands on an octagonal plinth. The foot of the cross shaft is decorated with carvings in low relief. The plinth stands on a four-stepped base, square on plan. The memorial stands in a square kerbed and gated enclosure, with a surrounding chain suspended on low stone posts.

The plinth is clad with metal plaques which bear the names of the fallen from both the First and also the Second World War. The principal dedicatory inscription on the front (north-east) face of the plinth reads 1914 1918/ 1939 1945/ TO THOSE OF THIS VILLAGE/ WHO MADE THE SACRIFICE/ FOR PEACE/ SONS OF THIS PLACE LET/ THIS OF YOU BE SAID,/ THAT YOU WHO LIVE ARE/ WORTHY OF THE DEAD./ THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT/ YOU WHO LIVE MAY REAP/ A RICHER HARVEST ERE/ YOU FALL ASLEEP. A wreath is depicted on the plaque between the start and end dates of each conflict.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 10 January 2017.


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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Bourton-on-the-Water as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

In January 1920, residents of Bourton-on-the-Water decided at a public meeting to create a memorial to the 27 members of the local community who had died. Having visited the memorials at Ampney Crucis and Saintsbury, the War Memorial Committee members chose the design and set about fundraising. The war memorial was unveiled by Major-General Sir HB Walker and dedicated by Reverend Canon WE White at a well-attended ecumenical ceremony on 7 December 1920. Following the Second World War the names of 12 men who died in that conflict were added.

Reasons for Listing

Bourton-on-the-Water War Memorial and gated enclosure, standing on the green, 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: a well-executed and imposing memorial cross;
* Group value: with a number of Grade-II listed structures in close proximity to the memorial.

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