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Bream Cenotaph

A Grade II Listed Building in West Dean, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7498 / 51°44'59"N

Longitude: -2.5764 / 2°34'34"W

OS Eastings: 360307

OS Northings: 205838

OS Grid: SO603058

Mapcode National: GBR JR.0W3M

Mapcode Global: VH879.98BX

Entry Name: Bream Cenotaph

Listing Date: 14 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443965

Location: West Dean, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL15

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean

Civil Parish: West Dean

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Bream St James

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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A First World War memorial, erected in 1921, designed by architects Kennard and Kennard of London; altered after the Second World War.


A First World War memorial, erected in 1921, designed by architects Kennard and Kennard of London; altered after the Second World War.

Local stone.

The memorial takes the form of a cenotaph, loosely modelled on the national Cenotaph in Whitehall. The structure is built from tightly-jointed stone, tapering towards the top from a rectangular base. Two faces have nowy-headed, tall plaques with inscriptions. That for the fallen of the First World War is on one of the short sides; it has a moulded surround, with a laurel wreath at the head, and is topped by a Latin cross. The plaque is inscribed GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN / THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY / DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS, followed by the names of the casualties; and below the memorial is inscribed TO OUR GLORIOUS DEAD. The second plaque, for the dead of the Second World War, has had its carved inscriptions covered by a bronze plaque which reads 1939-45 / AT THE GOING / DOWN OF THE / SUN AND IN THE MORNING / WE WILL REMEMBER THEM (names). At the foot of the memorial is a stone to which is affixed a plaque of 1995 by the Burma Star Association commemorating those who served in the Burma campaign 1941-5.

The memorial is tightly enclosed by contemporary iron railings with pointed tops, and moulded finials to the corner posts.

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, 16 March 2017.


Bream war memorial was unveiled on 11 September 1921 by General Tyler, and dedicated by Rev CHT Wright. The monument's cost of £750 was paid for by public subscription from the ecclesiastical parish of Bream. Funds from the Soldiers and Sailors Presentation Fund that was begun during the First World War was used as the nucleus. The owners of Princess Royal Colliery, the major employer of the village, paid £250 towards the cost, matched by the employed miners’ contribution of £250. The remainder was raised from door-to-door collections. The architects were Kennard and Kennard of Gray's Inn Square, London; the design was inspired by Lutyens’ national Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. At the unveiling ceremony, a further collection was made, to fund railings to protect the monument and wreaths from the local free-roaming sheep.

The memorial was altered after the Second World War, when a plaque was added to commemorate the soldiers of the village who lost their lives in that conflict. The memorial also serves as the focus of remembrance for the Forest of Dean Branch of the Burma Star Association, in which role it was dedicated in 1995.

The memorial has undergone repairs and re-cutting of its carved lettering in the 1970s and 1980s; in 1995 a cast bronze plaque was affixed over the carved inscription on the south side, commemorating the casualties of the Second World War. Further repairs and a re-dedication were carried out in 2002.

Reasons for Listing

The war memorial in Bream, a First World War memorial known as the Bream Cenotaph, designed by Kennard and Kennard of London, is 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 sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20. Its association with the Burma Star Association adds to its interest;
* Design interest: a well-executed stone memorial, inspired by the Whitehall Cenotaph.

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