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Whitchurch War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Tavistock, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5347 / 50°32'4"N

Longitude: -4.1275 / 4°7'39"W

OS Eastings: 249322

OS Northings: 72710

OS Grid: SX493727

Mapcode National: GBR NX.HMN7

Mapcode Global: FRA 277N.9S7

Plus Code: 9C2QGVMC+VX

Entry Name: Whitchurch War Memorial

Listing Date: 23 January 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1459652

Location: Tavistock, West Devon, Devon, PL19

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Tavistock

Built-Up Area: Tavistock

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


First World War memorial with later additions for the Second World War.


First World War memorial with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: rough-hewn granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands in a prominent location at the eastern edge of the churchyard of the Church of St Andrew (Grade I). The existing churchyard wall and bank have been cut away at this location and replaced with railings to allow clear views of the memorial.

The memorial is 3.3m high and comprises a short, rough-hewn granite Latin cross set atop a tall, tapering plinth. The whole memorial stands on a shallow, square, three-stepped base. The front (eastern) face of the cross is decorated with a relief-carved IHS Christogram.

The main inscription is on a smoothed granite area of the eastern face of the plinth in leaded lettering and reads: TO THE UNDYING MEMORY OF OUR/ BRAVE WHITCHURCH PARISHIONERS/ WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ (20 NAMES).

On the eastern face of the upper step of the base is the additional inscription 1939 (COLUMN OF 5 NAMES) (COLUMN OF 5 NAMES) 1945.


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 Whitchurch as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 20 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The names of the 10 parishioners who fell during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Whitchurch War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Andrew, 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:

* as a well-executed granite cross with relief-carved details.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Andrew (Grade I).

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