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Ecclesfield War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Ecclesfield, Sheffield

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Latitude: 53.4432 / 53°26'35"N

Longitude: -1.4699 / 1°28'11"W

OS Eastings: 435310

OS Northings: 394175

OS Grid: SK353941

Mapcode National: GBR LX5M.KF

Mapcode Global: WHDD9.DQ98

Entry Name: Ecclesfield War Memorial

Listing Date: 7 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439503

Location: Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S35

County: Sheffield

Civil Parish: Ecclesfield

Built-Up Area: Sheffield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Ecclesfield St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

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A First World War memorial, designed by R B Brook-Greaves and unveiled on 24 September 1921, with later additions for the Second World War and the Falklands War.


MATERIALS: limestone.

DESCRIPTION: Ecclesfield War Memorial is located within the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin’s Church (Grade I), Ecclesfield. It comprises a four-sided wheel-head cross with Celtic-style knotwork design on each face of the cross. The cross rises on a pillar or pedestal which symbolises the altar and which stands on a sloping base. On the four crosses are the emblems of the four nations of the United Kingdom and at the corners of the pillar are carved symbols of the four evangelists. The symbols of the Passion are carved on the four discs of the south cross whilst the north cross bears discs carved with religious symbols.

The pillar is inscribed in ornate lettering with the names of the fallen as well as the dedicatory inscriptions. The First World War inscription reads: TO THE GLORY/ OF GOD AND/ IN GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF/ ECCLESFIELD/ WHO GAVE/ THEIR LIVES/ FOR KING/ AND COUNTRY/ IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ 1914 1918. On the pillar to the left of this is inscribed: WE/ DIED FOR/ ENGLAND/ YOU FOR/ ENGLAND/ LIVE.

The later Second World War inscription reads: THESE ALSO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES/ 1939 – 1945/ 'AT THE GOING DOWN/ OF THE SUN/ AND IN THE MORNING/ WE WILL REMEMBER THEM'. A further inscription reads: FALKLAND ISLANDS/ 1982/ (NAME).


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 Ecclesfield 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 memorial was designed by R B Brook-Greaves who described his choice of design to the Rev E D Edwards shortly after the unveiling. He wanted 'some form - not too elaborate - which would embody the nobility and dignity of their sacrifice, making use of those symbols most appropriate - the Cross and the Altar'.

The memorial was unveiled by Earl Fitzwilliam and dedicated by the Bishop of Sheffield on 24 September 1921. It commemorates 54 local servicemen who fell during the First World War. 

Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the 36 fallen of that conflict with one name being added following the Falklands conflict. 

Reasons for Listing

Ecclesfield 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 this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an unusual and striking four-sided wheel-head cross and pillar enriched with carved decorative details and fine lettering;
* Group value: with the Church of St Mary (Grade I) and a medieval cross (scheduled monument).

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