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Downside School War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Stratton on the Fosse, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2531 / 51°15'11"N

Longitude: -2.4947 / 2°29'41"W

OS Eastings: 365568

OS Northings: 150556

OS Grid: ST655505

Mapcode National: GBR MV.1CRQ

Mapcode Global: VH89N.PRZQ

Entry Name: Downside School War Memorial

Listing Date: 23 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1442399

Location: Stratton on the Fosse, Mendip, Somerset, BA3

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

Civil Parish: Stratton on the Fosse

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Stratton on the Fosse


A First World War memorial erected in 1922, altered in 1999.


A First World War memorial designed by Leonard Stokes; altered in 1999 to include the names of those who lost their lives during the Second World War and both the Malayan and Aden Emergencies.

MATERIALS: constructed of local limestone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial consists of a Calvary cross supported by a principal wall with plaques and further projecting stepped walls. The memorial features two steps to access the principal wall. At the top of this wall, there is a large plaque underneath a crest, which details the names of the pupils who died during the First World War. There are three further plaques below that also give names; each is headed by a crest of the school house that the pupils belonged to. Beneath these plaques there is an inscription which reads: SUORUM MEMORIAE/ QUI TERRA MARI AERE/ HILARI ANIMO PRO PATRIA DIMICANTES/ CUM SIGNO FIDEI PRAECESSERUNT/ HANC CRUCEM/ MAERORIS GLORIAE SPEI DOCUMENTEM/ PIA MATER DICAVIT/ ANIMABUS IMPLORA PACEM.

The Calvary cross stands at the top of an octagonal column, with two flanking figures facing south-west and north-east. A figure of Christ faces north-west and is surrounded by carved foliate detailing.

From the principal wall there are two further projecting stepped walls with saddle-back coping, each with a plaque on the north-west face to list the name of the pupils who gave their lives during the Second World War. Inscribed beneath both plaques are the dates 1939-1945. On the inside of the left hand wall there is a further plaque which reads: MALAYA 1950/ K.F. MCINTYRE LT. SEAFORTH/ ADEN 1967/ J.D.E ROSE FOREIGN OFFICE/ (MI6).

On the rear face of the memorial there are two further plaques to mark the unveiling and rededication of the memorial. The plaque at the top of the wall reads: THIS MEMORIAL WAS UNVEILED/ BY COLONEL E P RIDDELL.D.S O/ ON EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 16TH 1922. A further plaque beneath it reads: RE-DEDICATED BY/ RT REV DOM RICHARD YEO/ 11TH ABBOT OF DOWNSIDE/ UPON THE ADDITION OF NAMES/ (1939-1967)/ EASTER SUNDAY/ 23RD APRIL 2000.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 5 June 2017.


The war memorial at Downside is situated approximately 70m to the south of Downside School (listed Grade II*). The memorial was unveiled on Easter Sunday, 16 April 1922 by Colonel E P Riddell DSO, and blessed by the Abbot of Downside, Rt Rev C E Butler. The memorial was designed by noted architect Leonard Stokes in November 1921.

HRH The Prince of Wales visited the school and the memorial in 1923 when the memorial was located in its original position approximately 50m to the north; it was moved to its current location sometime between 1923 and 1960. It seems that the ground around the memorial was also remodelled at this time as the original bordered stone pathway leading to the memorial along with one of the steps to the principal wall have both been lost. When the memorial was relocated, a larger paved area was created around it with two additional steps constructed. It is likely that the shaft of the memorial was also replaced at this time.

In 1999 two plaques were added to the memorial’s projecting walls to commemorate the pupils from the school who had lost their lives during the Second World War. At this time a further plaque was added to the left hand wall to commemorate a pupil who lost their life during the Malayan Emergency in 1950, and also to commemorate a former pupil who died whilst working for the Foreign Office during the conflict in Aden in 1967. The war memorial was then re-dedicated by Rt Rev Dom Richard Yeo on Easter Sunday, 23 April 2000 upon the addition of these names.

Reasons for Listing

Downside War Memorial, designed by Leonard Stokes and erected in 1922, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: as a poignant reminder of the sacrifice of the pupils of Downside School during various conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: as an elegant and well executed memorial designed by noted architect Leonard Stokes.

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