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Latitude: 52.4075 / 52°24'27"N
Longitude: -1.825 / 1°49'29"W
OS Eastings: 412002
OS Northings: 278852
OS Grid: SP120788
Mapcode National: GBR 4J4.1FC
Mapcode Global: VH9ZB.BR27
Entry Name: Shirley War Memorial
Listing Date: 6 December 2016
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1440523
Location: Solihull, B90
Electoral Ward/Division: Shirley East
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Built-Up Area: Solihull
Traditional County: Warwickshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands
Church of England Parish: Salter Street and Shirley
Church of England Diocese: Birmingham
First World War Memorial, with an additional inscription for the Second World War and casualties from that conflict commemorated on adjacent stone tablets.
Shirley war memorial is situated in the south-east of the churchyard of the Church of St James (NHLE no. 1203387), looking directly onto the Stratford Road. The memorial consists of a three-stepped base, the upper section of which bears the inscription: THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED / TO THE GLORY OF GOD, AND IN / PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY / OF THE SHIRLEY MEN WHO FELL / IN THE GREAT WAR. 1914 - 19 / AND WORLD WAR II. 1939 – 1945. This is a surmounted by a plinth with tapering shaft topped by a wheeled cross. The front of the plinth has a bronze wreath and the inscription: TO THE / GLORIOUS / DEAD. The other faces of the plinth bear the names of the deceased. Adjacent are two low stone slabs, one to each side of the main memorial, each bearing the inscription: 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).
This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 27 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, 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 Shirley as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.
Shirley war memorial was constructed by J White and Sons in the years following the First World War. After the Second World War two curved stone tablets were erected to either side of the memorial to commemorate those who died in that conflict. The memorial was re-dedicated on 3 May 1953 in a ceremony attended by Colonel Philip Docker, TD, DL and the Reverend Kenneth Puntan, OBE, BA. It was restored by local volunteers in the early 2010s.
Shirley 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 local community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet dignified wheel-head cross memorial;
* Group value: with the grade II listed Church of St James.