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Bow Brickhill War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Bow Brickhill, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.0024 / 52°0'8"N

Longitude: -0.68 / 0°40'48"W

OS Eastings: 490709

OS Northings: 234591

OS Grid: SP907345

Mapcode National: GBR F23.GWM

Mapcode Global: VHFQQ.5XCW

Entry Name: Bow Brickhill War Memorial

Listing Date: 3 August 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1448404

Location: Bow Brickhill, Milton Keynes, MK17

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Bow Brickhill

Built-Up Area: Bow Brickhill

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

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Woburn Sands


War memorial, erected in March 1921.


War memorial, erected in March 1921.

The memorial is of Portland stone and takes the form of a tapering, octagonal stone shaft surmounted by a stone cross, above a collar. It is mounted on a two-stepped square base surmounted by a square-sectioned plinth, with shaped angles. The front face is inscribed: TO / THE HONOURED MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING / MEN WHO WENT FROM THIS PARISH AND GAVE / THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE / GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918 / (8 NAMES). The other faces are also inscribed THESE ALSO SERVED/ each face with 17 or 18 names, arranged alphabetically. The upper step is inscribed: 1939 - 1945 / (5 NAMES).


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 which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Bow Brickhill 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 dedication ceremony took place on Saturday 26 March 1921; in addition to the village minister Revd Barmby, the Rev RA Rees, Wesleyan Methodist Minister from Woburn Sands, Rev JS Wilson, Congregational Church, Newport Pagnell, and Mr F Maslin, Evangelical Church, Newport Pagnell were also present. The memorial was unveiled and dedicated by the 13th Duke of Bedford. After the hymn 'For all the Saints', and the Benediction by Revd Rees, two buglers sounded the Last Post, and the National Anthem was played.

One of the named, Gerald Featherstone Knight, a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps who died in hospital on 30 October 1919, aged 25, was posthumously awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his gallantry in escaping from captivity. He gave a vivid account of his experiences in his book, 'Brother Bosch: An Airman's Escape from Germany', while the magazine Flight of October 4, 1917 (pp 129-30) gives an account of his meeting with King George V at an Investiture, and the opportunity to give his Majesty details of his recent escape.

In 1947 the British Legion offered financial help to clean the memorial and add the names of those who died, and those who served, in the Second World War. In 1968 the memorial was knocked down and damaged; a house to house collection was made to repair the damage.

During 1987/8, the memorial was cleaned, the names re-cut, and re-dedicated at the November 1988 service of remembrance, then in Autumn 2016 the memorial was again cleaned and refurbished, and two additional names were added, both casualties of the First World War.

Reasons for Listing

Bow Brickhill War Memorial, erected in 1921, 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 sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;

* For the published account of his escape by Captain Gerald Featherstone Knight, which enlivens the memorial by capturing the experiences of a young serving officer in World War I;

Architectural interest:

* A dignified and well-crafted octagonal cross and base in Portland stone.

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