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War memorial to Private Fairless, Limestone Brae burial ground

A Grade II Listed Building in West Allen, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.844 / 54°50'38"N

Longitude: -2.3233 / 2°19'24"W

OS Eastings: 379333

OS Northings: 549962

OS Grid: NY793499

Mapcode National: GBR DD6F.SB

Mapcode Global: WH91Q.8HWV

Entry Name: War memorial to Private Fairless, Limestone Brae burial ground

Listing Date: 14 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441606

Location: West Allen, Northumberland, NE47

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: West Allen

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Whitfield and Ninebanks

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

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First World War memorial, unveiled 1920.


The memorial stands in the burial ground to the south-west side of the road through West Allendale, c300m to the north-west of the former Methodist Church (Grade II-listed). It takes the form of a small stone floriated cross that stands on a three-stage base. The monogram HIS is carved in low relief at the centre of the cross head.

To the foot of the cross shaft the dedication begins OUR/ GLORIOUS/ DEAD, continues on the front face of the upper stage of the base ERECTED BY THE INHABITANTS/ OF WEST ALLEN/ TO THE MEMORY OF/ PTE. J.W. FAIRLESS 12/13 N.F. and ends on the middle stage WHO FELL IN ACTION IN FRANCE/ DURING THE GREAT EUROPEAN WAR/ 1914-1918. The inscription GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT/ A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS is recorded on the bottom stage. The texts are in applied metal letters.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 22 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 the Limestone Brae burial ground, West Allendale, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by Private Joseph Fairless of West Allen who lost his life in the First World War.

The memorial, made by Creswell of Hexham, was unveiled on 9 October 1920 by Colonel LC Lockhart. The dedication service was conducted by Reverend T Nevison in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel c300m to the south-east of the cemetery. The memorial was erected by the parishioners of West Allen in memory of Private JW Fairless of the 12th/13th Northumberland Fusiliers, son of Mr and Mrs Fairless of Nook Farm. Fairless died aged 24 on 15 December 1917 and is buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery, France.

Reasons for Listing

The war memorial to Private Fairless in Limestone Brae burial ground, West Allen, 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 made in the First World War;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet poignant memorial cross.

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