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Whetstone (St Peter's Churchyard) War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Leicester, Leicestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5728 / 52°34'22"N

Longitude: -1.1788 / 1°10'43"W

OS Eastings: 455753

OS Northings: 297540

OS Grid: SP557975

Mapcode National: GBR 8N5.NSP

Mapcode Global: WHDJP.VLVG

Plus Code: 9C4WHRFC+4F

Entry Name: Whetstone (St Peter's Churchyard) War Memorial

Listing Date: 2 July 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1455370

Location: Whetstone, Blaby, Leicestershire, LE8

County: Leicestershire

District: Blaby

Civil Parish: Whetstone

Built-Up Area: Whetstone

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Summary


First World War memorial, unveiled on 28 May 1921, designed by E G Fowler with cross and sculptural work undertaken by Anthony Smith of Leicester.

Description

First World War memorial, 1921.

MATERIALS: wood cross and sculpture; Portland stone plinth; Forest of Dean stone base.

DESCRIPTION: Whetstone (St Peter’s Churchyard) War Memorial is located in the churchyard of the Grade I-listed Church of St Peter, situated to the north of the church and on the approach to the church entrance.

It takes the form of a wooden Calvary cross surmounted by a canopy. To the south face is a large carved sculpture of Christ on the Cross, above which, on the vertical arm of the cross, is a carved scroll with the monogram INRI in relief letters. The cross rises from a four-sided plinth of Portland stone with cap and moulded cornice. This surmounts a three-stepped, square base of Forest of Dean stone; the lowermost step is chamfered.

The plinth carries the principal inscription and names in incised lettering. The inscription wraps around the upper section of the plinth over three faces and reads TO THE MEMORY OF THE (west face)/ WHETSTONE MEN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES (south face)/ IN THE WAR 1914 – 1918 (east face). The lettering has been significantly weathered. Directly below the inscription is a narrow, moulded band. The names of the 18 men who died are recorded below the inscription to the south face of the plinth. A further inscription is to the south face of the uppermost step of the base and reads THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVER MORE. The stonework has suffered some damage, obscuring some of the words. Directly below, to the middle step are the letters R.I.P.

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 in St Peter’s Churchyard at Whetstone as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 18 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It was designed by Captain Ernest G Fowler, with the cross and sculpture of Christ undertaken by Mr Anthony Smith of Leicester. The memorial was unveiled on 28 May 1921 by General Lord Horne and dedicated by the Bishop of Leicester, Dr Norman Lang.

Whetstone also has a civic memorial situated along the main road to the south-west of the church; this was also designed by E G Fowler and is Grade II-listed.

Reasons for Listing

Whetstone (St Peter’s Churchyard) War Memorial 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 First World War.

Architectural interest:

* a well-executed Calvary cross memorial demonstrating fine craftsmanship in the sculptural depiction of Christ on the Cross.

Group value:

* with the Grade I-listed Church of St Peter.

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