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War memorial outside St Hilda's Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Beacon and Bents, South Tyneside

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Latitude: 54.9967 / 54°59'48"N

Longitude: -1.4377 / 1°26'15"W

OS Eastings: 436067

OS Northings: 567051

OS Grid: NZ360670

Mapcode National: GBR LBDN.JL

Mapcode Global: WHD4R.WNJS

Entry Name: War memorial outside St Hilda's Church

Listing Date: 7 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440513

Location: South Tyneside, NE33

County: South Tyneside

Civil Parish: Non Civil Parish

Metropolitan District Ward: Beacon and Bents

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: South Shields St Hilda with St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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First World War memorial, unveiled 1921.


The memorial stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Hilda (Grade II-listed), to the west of the church. Built in Stancliffe stone, the c7m tall memorial takes the form of an early medieval cross. The cross shaft rises from a plinth, which stands on a three-stepped base.

The front face of the cross head is richly ornamented with carved interlace, and the figure of Christ crucified in relief. The principal dedicatory inscription carved in relief on the cross shaft below reads TO THE/ GLORY OF/ GOD THIS/ CROSS WAS/ ERECTED IN/ THE YEAR/ OF OUR/ LORD 1921,/ IN/ GRATEFUL/ REMEMBR/ ANCE OF/ THE DECLA/ RATION OF/ PEACE IN/ THE GREAT/ EUROPEAN/ WAR AND/ IN MEMORY/ OF THOSE/ WHO FOUGHT/ AND FELL/ FOR THEIR/ SOVEREIGN/ AND EMPIRE/ BY SEA LAND/ AND AIR.

Below the panel containing this dedication, three ornamental panels carved in the front face of the cross shaft include interlace patterns, symbols of the Passion, and three ammonites, the emblem of St Hilda. The figure of St Hilda carrying a model of her church is carved in relief to the rear of the cross shaft. The commemorated names are carved on the four faces of the plinth.

The memorial stands on a raised platform approached by a rake of four steps from the east.

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, 23 February 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 in South Shields 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 unveiled on 17 November 1921 by Mr J Sedeole, Churchwarden, and dedicated by the Bishop of Durham. Commissioned by the Parish Council, the memorial cost c£1,000, raised by public subscription. The memorial was designed by JH Morton FRIBA and sculpted by George Walker Milburn of York. It commemorates 83 local servicemen who died in the First World War.

Reasons for Listing

The war memorial outside St Hilda’s Church, South Shields, 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 First World War;
* Architectural interest: a richly ornamented and well-proportioned memorial cross in the early medieval style;
* Group value: with the Church of St Hilda, and other Grade II-listed structures in the churchyard.

Other nearby listed buildings

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