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Latitude: 51.4118 / 51°24'42"N
Longitude: -1.8087 / 1°48'31"W
OS Eastings: 413398
OS Northings: 168104
OS Grid: SU133681
Mapcode National: GBR 4X4.KHL
Mapcode Global: VHB45.LSN2
Plus Code: 9C3WC56R+PG
Entry Name: West Overton War Memorial
Listing Date: 9 February 2018
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1451856
Location: West Overton, Wiltshire, SN8
Civil Parish: West Overton
Traditional County: Wiltshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire
First World War memorial, with later additions for the Second World War.
The memorial stands in the churchyard, opposite the Church of St Michael and All Angels (Grade II*) and the adjacent Verger’s Cottage and Manor House (both Grade II-listed). It comprises a tall stone Latin cross standing on a substantial rectangular plinth, on a square single-stepped base. On the north-west face of the cross is a sword carved in relief.
The main inscription incised on the north-west face of the plinth, facing the church, reads IN LOVING AND GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF FYFIELD, LOCKERIDGE,/ AND OVERTON, WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919/ 1939-1945/ “IN SACRED SLEEP THEY REST./ SAY NOT OF BRAVE MEN THAT THEY DIE.” The First World War names are incised onto the side faces of the plinth, whilst the inscription to the rear face reads 1939 – 1945/ (5 NAMES). The names are all listed alphabetically, with the rank and regiment or Service of each man.
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 13/02/2018
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 West Overton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 23 members of the villages of Fyfield, Lockeridge and Overton who lost their lives in the First World War. In August 1919, local residents resolved to erect a memorial cross rather than a more expensive lych gate. The cross, designed by the architect Charles Ponting (1850-1932, responsible for numerous local buildings, many of which are listed) was dedicated in January 1921. The names of five parishioners who died during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.
West Overton War Memorial, which stands opposite the Church of St Michael and All Angels, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* 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.
* a simple memorial cross incorporating a carved sword.
* with the Church of St Michael and All Angels (Grade II*) and the adjacent Verger’s Cottage and Manor House (both Grade II).
Other nearby listed buildings