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St John's Church War Memorial, Smallbridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Wardle and West Littleborough, Rochdale

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Latitude: 53.6338 / 53°38'1"N

Longitude: -2.132 / 2°7'55"W

OS Eastings: 391365

OS Northings: 415265

OS Grid: SD913152

Mapcode National: GBR FVKF.63

Mapcode Global: WHB8R.6XZM

Plus Code: 9C5VJVM9+G5

Entry Name: St John's Church War Memorial, Smallbridge

Listing Date: 26 June 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1455168

Location: Wardle and West Littleborough, Rochdale, OL16

County: Rochdale

Electoral Ward/Division: Wardle and West Littleborough

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Rochdale

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Tagged with: War memorial


First World War memorial, approx 1920, with Second World War additions.


First World War memorial, approx 1920, with Second World War additions.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial is located in front of the north-west elevation of the Grade II-listed Church of St John the Baptist at the end of the path along the churchyard from the Halifax Road entrance.

The cross is made from sandstone, set upon a square plinth with sloping shoulders and a two-stepped base. The north-west face of the cross is decorated with sculpted foliate ornament with 'ihs’ at the centre and edged with sculpted plaitwork. The names are inscribed on inset panels on three sides of the plinth edged with similar sculpted ropework.

At the base of the cross in ornate letters is the inscription IN/ LOVING MEMORY/ OF/ with names on the plinth below. The top step of the base carries the inscription OBEDIENT EVEN UNTO DEATH/ PRO PATRIA 1914 – 18/ ERECTED WITH SANCTUARY AND SIDE-CHAPEL/ MEMORIALS. BY THEIR FRIENDS/ OF ST JOHN’S SMALLBRIDGE.

On the south-east face of the plinth are a further four names and then Second World War additions inscribed ALSO IN MEMORY OF/ THE FOLLOWING WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES IN THE WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945/ (EIGHT NAMES).

A low bronze railing surrounds the memorial.


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 the churchyard of St John's Church, Smallbridge 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 names of those who died in the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

St John’s Church War Memorial, Smallbridge, 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* an elegant sandstone cross decorated with sculpted foliate design and plaitwork ornament.

Group value:

* with the Grade II-listed Church of St John.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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