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Tilehurst War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Tilehurst, Reading

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Latitude: 51.458 / 51°27'28"N

Longitude: -1.0407 / 1°2'26"W

OS Eastings: 466745

OS Northings: 173658

OS Grid: SU667736

Mapcode National: GBR Q3D.DS

Mapcode Global: VHCZ9.XM55

Entry Name: Tilehurst War Memorial

Listing Date: 10 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441573

Location: Reading, RG31

County: Reading

Local Authority Ward: Tilehurst

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Reading

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Tilehurst St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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First World War memorial with later additions for subsequent conflicts.


MATERIALS: limestone with bronze plaques.

DESCRIPTION: Tilehurst War Memorial is located at The Triangle, Tilehurst and it consists of a wheel-head cross. The cross rises from a tapering square shaft with crenelated cap. The shaft rises from a two-stepped square plinth on a three-stepped base.

The faces of the plinth have bronze plaques fixed to each face and there are subsequent plaques on the two upper steps. The top section of the plinth is a shallow step with bronze plaques fixed to each face which read: TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN/ HONOURED MEMORY OF THE MEN OF/ TILEHURST WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918. The faces of the plinth have bronze plaques with lists of the names of the fallen with a raised wreath detail at the base.

Two further plaques are located on the front faces of the steps. The first commemorates the fallen of the Second World War: THIS MEMORIAL ALSO COMMEMORATES THE MEN AND WOMEN/ OF TILEHURST/ WHO DIED IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945/ WHOSE NAMES ARE IN THE BOOK OF LIFE (PHILIPPIANS, 4.3.). The plaque on the second step reads: THIS MEMORIAL IS ALSO DEDICATED/ TO THE MEMORY OF ALL THOSE WHO HAVE/ FALLEN IN THE DEFENCE OF FREEDOM AND/ DEMOCRACY SINCE THE TWO WORLD WARS. Subsequent plaques are located on the other faces of the steps with lists of the fallen.

The base of the memorial is protected by eight low stone posts.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country, 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 Tilehurst in the 1920s as a permanent testament to the sacrifices made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Further names were added following the Second World War to commemorate the fallen of that conflict and a further plaque was added for those who died since the two world wars.

A photograph of c 1955 shows the memorial protected by eight small posts and also surrounded by low fencing, the latter since replaced.

Reasons for Listing

Tilehurst 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 limestone wheel-head cross.

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