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Gumley War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Gumley, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.5051 / 52°30'18"N

Longitude: -1.0076 / 1°0'27"W

OS Eastings: 467456

OS Northings: 290153

OS Grid: SP674901

Mapcode National: GBR 9QH.XS2

Mapcode Global: VHDQR.H95F

Entry Name: Gumley War Memorial

Listing Date: 31 January 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1459204

Location: Gumley, Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough

Civil Parish: Gumley

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire


First World War Memorial, 1920. The memorial stands in the middle of the scheduled remains of the Gumley medieval settlement.


First World War memorial, unveiled Saturday 20 June 1920. The memorial stands in the middle of the scheduled remains of the Gumley medieval settlement.

MATERIALS : stone, Swithland Slate.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands on a grass area close to the cricket ground, surrounded by a wooden fence. It consists of a stone in-filled wheel cross on a tall shaft with a carved sword on the front face of the shaft. A carved wreath is located above a square base which includes three slate tablets and stands on a two-tiered step.

The inscription on the slate panel on the front face reads TO THE / GLORY OF GOD/ AND / IN UNDYING REMEMBRANCE / OF THOSE WHO GAVE/ THEIR LIVES FOR THE/ DELIVERANCE OF THEIR / COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/

The inscription located on the slate panel on the left side of the memorial reads MEN WHO SERVED / (NAMES), and the inscription on the slate panel located on the right side of the memorial reads KILLED IN ACTION / (NAMES)


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 Gumley as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by eight members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial also commemorates 28 local servicemen who served and returned in the First World War. It has not been altered to commemorate the servicemen who fell in the Second World War.

The memorial was unveiled on 20 June 1920 by Colonel R E Martin. It was designed by Joseph Herbert Morcom ARCA (1871-1942), who worked first for a local firm of stonemasons in Wales, later securing a position with Norbury, Paterson & Co of Liverpool. In the early 1890s he enrolled at Liverpool School of Architecture and Applied Art. By 1904 he was Assistant Modelling Master at the School and in 1910 was appointed Modelling Master at Leicester School of Art. Four years later he bought Pearson and Shipley, a firm of stonemasons and monumental sculptors, which he renamed The Plasmatic Company. Thereafter he continued to work for the company as well as sculpting independently and teaching at the Leicester School of Art. He was responsible for a number of other war memorials, including those at Quorn, Aylestone, Queniborough and Kirby Muxloe (all Grade II listed).

Reasons for Listing

Gumley War Memorial, situated on the scheduled remains of the medieval settlement in Gumley park, 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 sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* a well-executed stone wheel cross on a tall shaft with a carved stone sword and wreath;
* designed by notable local architect Joseph Herbert Morcom;
* unusually, the memorial has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent.

Group value:

* the memorial stands above the Gumley medieval settlement remains, rabbit warren and field systems, 600m south west of the Church of St Helen (National Heritage List for England entry number: 1017210)

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