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Debenham War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Debenham, Suffolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.224 / 52°13'26"N

Longitude: 1.1819 / 1°10'54"E

OS Eastings: 617419

OS Northings: 263192

OS Grid: TM174631

Mapcode National: GBR VM3.KMH

Mapcode Global: VHLB1.FCNF

Entry Name: Debenham War Memorial

Listing Date: 12 September 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1459053

Location: Debenham, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP14

County: Suffolk

District: Mid Suffolk

Civil Parish: Debenham

Built-Up Area: Debenham

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Summary

War memorial. Erected, following the First World War, in 1920 by the architect H Smith and builder H Taylor. A further inscription was added after the Second World War.

Description

War memorial. Erected, following the First World War, in 1920 by the architect H Smith and builder H Taylor. A further inscription was added after the Second World War.

MATERIALS: carved from York stone.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial is situated in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary Magdalene, immediately to the south-east of the church. It comprises a rectangular cenotaph or stone of remembrance over 1m high. The east face is inscribed in incised lettering: TO THE/ MEN OF DEBENHAM/ GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 18/ (33 NAMES)/ WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. On the north face is a further inscription in incised lettering: ALSO OF THOSE/ OF THIS PARISH/ SECOND GREAT WAR/ 1939 – 45/ (SIX NAMES).

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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at Debenham as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It was designed by the architect H Smith and erected by the builder H Taylor. The memorial was unveiled during a memorial service in March 1920 and was originally located at the Debenham War Memorial Institute on Gracechurch Street. It was moved to its current location in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary Magdalene (Grade I) by J Wright and Son of Ipswich in 1966 when the Institute on Gracechurch Street was sold. After the Second World War, the names of those parishioners who fell during that conflict were added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Debenham War Memorial, erected in 1920 to the design of the architect H Smith, 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.

Group value:

* with the Grade I-listed Church of St Mary Magdalene.

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