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Lavendon War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Lavendon, Milton Keynes

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1729 / 52°10'22"N

Longitude: -0.661 / 0°39'39"W

OS Eastings: 491662

OS Northings: 253587

OS Grid: SP916535

Mapcode National: GBR F00.MPQ

Mapcode Global: VHFPY.HND2

Entry Name: Lavendon War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 August 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1458137

Location: Lavendon, Milton Keynes, MK46

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Lavendon

Built-Up Area: Lavendon

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Description

The Cornish granite memorial stands at the junction of High Street and Olney Road, adjacent to numerous Grade II-listed buildings and the Grade I-listed Church of St Michael. It comprises a Celtic wheel head cross on a tapered pedestal, standing on two steps: the immediate surrounding area is paved with crazy paving. The whole is enclosed by eight low granite pyramidal posts, carrying spiked chains.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front (east) face of the pedestal reads TO THE UNDYING FAME/ OF THESE MEN OF LAVENDON/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR KING AND COUNTRY/ 1914 - 1919/ THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED/ (NAMES)/ “LEST WE FORGET”. Below, the inscription on a small chamfered stone added to the lower step reads ALSO 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES). A similar stone added to the step on the south side to record death of soldier in Malaya in 1953.

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 Lavendon as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 21 members of the local community who died in the First World War. The memorial was unveiled at an ecumenical service held on 12 December 1920 by Major HH Halse of Lavendon Grange. In 1937, responsibility for the memorial was passed from the War Memorial Committee to the Parish Council. Further additions were made to the memorial following the Second World War (five names) and the Malaya Emergency (one name).

The post and chain arrangement surrounding the memorial replaces an earlier enclosure: a photograph from c1921 shows the memorial surrounded by wooden posts carrying a rope.

Reasons for Listing

Lavendon War Memorial, which stands at the junction of High Street and Olney Road, 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 simple yet poignant granite memorial cross, in the Celtic style.

Group value:

* with numerous Grade II-listed buildings and the Grade I-listed Church of St Michael.

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