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Cardington War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Cardington, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.1194 / 52°7'9"N

Longitude: -0.4166 / 0°24'59"W

OS Eastings: 508506

OS Northings: 247964

OS Grid: TL085479

Mapcode National: GBR G2F.3GS

Mapcode Global: VHFQ8.QZMP

Entry Name: Cardington War Memorial

Listing Date: 14 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441321

Location: Cardington, Bedford, MK44

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Cardington

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Cardington

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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First World War memorial, unveiled on 23 May 1920, with Second World War additions.


MATERIALS: Portland stone memorial cross with bronze sword.

DESCRIPTION: Cardington War Memorial is located on the main path within Cardington Cemetery across the road from St Mary’s Church and churchyard. It consists of a Latin cross some 3m tall bearing a bronze Sword of Sacrifice on its front face. The cross rises from a tapering shaft upon an octagonal plinth and a two-stepped base.

The plinth has applied plaques on each face. The main dedication on the memorial reads: IN MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF/ THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE/ THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT/ WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES). The other faces are inscribed with the names of the fallen.


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 Cardington 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 follows the style of Sir Reginald Blomfield’s Cross of Sacrifice designed for the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission and was built by Messrs Dove Bros of Islington. The memorial cost £270 to construct and the money was raised through public subscription.

The memorial was unveiled 23 May 1920 by S H Whitbread CB, Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire. It commemorates 35 local servicemen who fell in the First World War.

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

Reasons for Listing

Cardington 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 elegant and striking Latin cross in Portland stone bearing a bronze Sword of Sacrifice;
* Group value: with the monument to commemorate the R101 airship disaster (Grade II).

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