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Lapford War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Lapford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.86 / 50°51'36"N

Longitude: -3.8031 / 3°48'11"W

OS Eastings: 273193

OS Northings: 108271

OS Grid: SS731082

Mapcode National: GBR L2.V4CQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 26XT.Q63

Plus Code: 9C2RV56W+2Q

Entry Name: Lapford War Memorial

Listing Date: 19 October 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1449693

Location: Lapford, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Lapford

Built-Up Area: Lapford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


First World War memorial, unveiled 1919, with additions for late conflicts.


The granite memorial stands on the small green area to the east of the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury (Grade I-listed). It takes the form of a plain Latin cross, octagonal in section, rising from a low pedestal. The pedestal is square on plan, with rounded shoulders, and stands on a two-stepped octagonal base.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the pedestal reads IN LOVING MEMORY/ OF OUR LAPFORD MEN WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY 1914 – 1918. The later Second World War inscription, ALSO 1939 – 45 WAR, is on the rear face of the pedestal. The commemorated names are recorded on faces of the upper step of the base, whilst the most recent inscription to one side of the pedestal reads FALKLAND ISLANDS 1982/ (1 NAME).

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 November 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 which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Lapford as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 25 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial cross was produced by Mr Herbert Read (junior) of St Sidwell’s Art Works, Exeter. Read waived his design fee, so the final cost was £123 5s. Raised by public subscription, the surplus of the war memorial fund was given to the Lapford and District Missing Persons Fund. The memorial was unveiled and dedicated by the Bishop of Crediton in November 1919. Dedications for both the Second World War and the Falklands conflict have been added.

H Read (1885 – 1951) was also responsible for war memorials including the screen and reredos (1920, designed by Sydney Greenslade) at the Church of St Peter, Tiverton (Grade I). Continuing his father’s business, Read produced numerous church fittings following the First World War and is particularly noted for his work salvaging and preserving ecclesiastical material during the Second World War: such as securing the Bishop’s throne at Exeter Cathedral, and dismantling, and later re-erecting, churches in the Slapton Sands district to protect them from damage during military rehearsals for the Normandy landings.

Reasons for Listing

Lapford War Memorial, which stands approximately 30m to the east of the parish church, 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 conflicts of the C20.
Architectural interest:

*     a simple yet well-proportioned memorial cross in granite, sculpted by H Read of the St Sidwell Art Works (Exeter).

Group value:

* with the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury (Grade I).

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