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Chatteris War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4546 / 52°27'16"N

Longitude: 0.0502 / 0°3'0"E

OS Eastings: 539408

OS Northings: 286048

OS Grid: TL394860

Mapcode National: GBR L49.1HV

Mapcode Global: VHHHW.TKDN

Entry Name: Chatteris War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441222

Location: Chatteris, Fenland, Cambridgeshire, PE16

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Fenland

Civil Parish: Chatteris

Built-Up Area: Chatteris

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Chatteris St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Ely

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Summary

War memorial and associated railings, unveiled in 1920, designed by W Samuel Weatherley and sculpted by Messrs. A Robinson & Son, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.

Description

War memorial and associated railings, unveiled in 1920, designed by W Samuel Weatherley and sculpted by Messrs. A Robinson & Son, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.

The limestone war memorial takes the form of a cross and square-plan lantern atop an octagonal-plan tapered pillar, square-plan plinth, and octagonal-plan base and two-step platform. The platform is bounded by a semi-circular paved area (re-paved c2010), enclosed by wrought-iron railings.

To the rear (east) of the memorial, a tripartite plinth wall bears inscriptions of the names of 158 of the fallen of the First World War, and the north and south faces of the plinth of the memorial are inscribed with 38 names of the fallen of the Second World War. The front (west) elevation of the plinth is inscribed: ‘TO THE UNDYING MEMORY / OF THE CHATTERIS MEN / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / IN THE GREAT WARS / 1914-1918 / 1939-1945’, and the rear (east) elevation reads: ‘LIVE THOU FOR ENGLAND / WE FOR ENGLAND DIED’. The base is inscribed: ‘GOD GAVE THEM A GREAT THING TO DO AND THEY DID IT’; and the upper step of the platform is inscribed: ‘AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM’.

The memorial stands to the west of the Church of SS Peter and Paul (listed at Grade I), adjacent Market Hill.

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, 17 February 2017.

History

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

Chatteris War Memorial was erected in memory of 158 residents of Chatteris who fell during the First World War (1914-18), and was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely on 1 October 1920. The memorial, which cost £1,700 and was paid for by public subscription, was sculpted by Messrs. A Robinson & Son, and constructed by Messrs, Streater and Winn to the designs of W Samuel Weatherley (1851-1922). Weatherley was a pupil of George Gilbert Scott from 1867 for 5 years, and assistant to Sir George Gilbert Scott and John Oldrid Scott from 1872 for 6 years. His career appears to have focused largely on ecclesiastical work and church refurbishments, and he published a book on Ancient Sepulchral Monuments with William Brindley in 1887.

The names of the fallen of the First World War are inscribed on the tripartite plinth wall to the rear (east) of the sculpture, and 38 names of the fallen of the Second World War (1939-45) were later added to the plinth of the sculpture itself. One of those named on the plinth wall is George William Burdett Clare, who was awarded a posthumous Victorian Cross for his service at Bourlon Wood during the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917, where he lost his life. The 1926 Ordnance Survey map shows the war memorial in its present location, semi-circular in plan, prominently located between Market Hill and the Church of SS Peter and Paul (listed at Grade I).

Reasons for Listing

Chatteris War Memorial and its associated railings are 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;
* Group value: for its relationship with nearby listed buildings, including the Church of SS Peter and Paul (listed at Grade I), and its contribution to Chatteris Conservation Area.

Selected Sources

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