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Upper Hill War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Birley with Upper Hill, County of Herefordshire

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Latitude: 52.1765 / 52°10'35"N

Longitude: -2.7734 / 2°46'24"W

OS Eastings: 347213

OS Northings: 253421

OS Grid: SO472534

Mapcode National: GBR FH.54NY

Mapcode Global: VH77L.WK6B

Entry Name: Upper Hill War Memorial

Listing Date: 1 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439042

Location: Birley with Upper Hill, County of Herefordshire, HR6

County: County of Herefordshire

Civil Parish: Birley with Upper Hill

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Hope-under-Dinmore

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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First World War memorial by William G Storr Barber, with a further name added after the Second World War.


MATERIALS: sandstone.

DESCRIPTION: Upper Hill War Memorial consists of a wheel-head cross on a tapered shaft decorated with an incised Sword of Sacrifice on the front face.

The shaft is set upon a two-tiered plinth and a single-step base. The front of the plinth has two recessed panels, one on each tier. The upper tier carries the inscription which reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ THE GIVER OF VICTORY AND/ TO THE UNDYING MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF UPPER HILL/ WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1919. The lower tier is incised with the names of the fallen followed by the inscription BY THEIR DEATH WE LIVE.

The left face of the lower tier bears a name from 1920 whilst the right face carries the details of a fallen submariner from the Second World War.


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

William G Storr Barber (active 1908 - 1920s) was the sculptor of the memorial. He was a monumental mason and sculptor originally based in Leominster where he carved a statue of St Ethelbert (1908) for the Catholic Church in the town as well as restoring the Old Town Hall (1909). He seems to have moved to the capital sometime between then and the early 1920s, for his statue for Leominster’s war memorial (1922) was modelled in his London studio. He was responsible for a number of memorials in the Hereford and Worcester area including Dilwyn and Kimbolton.

Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the one fallen of that conflict.

In 2015 the memorial was conserved with the help of grant aid from the War Memorials Trust.

Reasons for Listing

Upper Hill War Memorial 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 ornate and striking sandstone cross with carved decorative details;
* Designer: William G Storr Barber known for his carved statue of St Ethelbert in Leominster church as well as his remodelling of Leominster’s Old Town Hall.

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