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Semley War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Sedgehill and Semley, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0412 / 51°2'28"N

Longitude: -2.1551 / 2°9'18"W

OS Eastings: 389224

OS Northings: 126887

OS Grid: ST892268

Mapcode National: GBR 1X5.MYZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 66CC.J71

Entry Name: Semley War Memorial

Listing Date: 9 February 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1451755

Location: Sedgehill and Semley, Wiltshire, SP7

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Sedgehill and Semley

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Summary


First World War memorial, unveiled 1921, with Second World War additions.

Description

First World War memorial, 1921, with Second World War additions.

DESCRIPTION: Semley War Memorial is located in the churchyard to the north of the Church of St Leonard (Grade II-listed), immediately adjacent to the main entrance to the church. It is also in close proximity to the Grade II-listed Walls and Railings with Gates on North and West Sides of Churchyard.

The memorial is of rough-hewn granite and takes the form of a tall wheel-head cross with an inverted Sword of Sacrifice carved in relief to the north face of the cross-head and shaft. This rises from a tapering square plinth that surmounts a square stone base, which has been chamfered to the north face. All of the inscriptions and names are to the north face of the memorial and in leaded lettering.

At the bottom of the cross shaft, written within a shield-shaped inset panel, are the words TO THE/ GLORY OF/ GOD. The inscription continues directly below in an inset panel carved into the plinth AND IN HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO/ FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918/ (16 NAMES).

On the chamfered panel at the north face of the base is the additional inscription 1939 – 1945./ (5 NAMES).

The memorial stands within a small rectangular area of gravel, edged by stone kerbs, which are raised at the corners.

History

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 Semley as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 16 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It was designed by Appleby and Childs Sculptors, Yeovil, at a cost of around £160. The memorial was unveiled in 1921.

The five names of those parishioners who died in the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

In 2017 the war memorial received grant funding from the War Memorials Trust for its conservation and repair.

Reasons for Listing

Semley War Memorial, which is situated in St Leonard’s churchyard, 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.

Architectural interest:

* a well-executed rough-hewn granite wheel-head cross memorial with a finely carved Sword of Sacrifice.

Group value:

* with the Grade II-listed Church of St Leonard and the Grade II-listed Walls and Railings with Gates on North and West Sides of the Churchyard.

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