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Walsall Wood War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Brownhills, Walsall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6268 / 52°37'36"N

Longitude: -1.9316 / 1°55'53"W

OS Eastings: 404725

OS Northings: 303233

OS Grid: SK047032

Mapcode National: GBR 3CY.BFR

Mapcode Global: WHBFW.97FJ

Entry Name: Walsall Wood War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 March 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1462118

Location: Walsall, WS9

County: Walsall

Electoral Ward/Division: Aldridge North and Walsall Wood

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Brownhills

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Summary


First World War memorial, 1920s.

Description

First World War memorial, 1920s.

PLAN: the memorial stands in the churchyard to the south-east of St John’s Church.

MATERIALS: constructed from limestone.

DESCRIPTION: it takes the form of a stone Celtic cross with knotwork carved in relief on the south-east face of the cross head. The tapering cross shaft rises from a moulded plinth on a two-stepped base. The south-east face of the cross shaft bears in inscription in lead lettering: ‘TO THE / GLORY OF GOD / AND IN MEMORY OF THE / WALSALL WOOD MEN / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR / HONOUR AND FREEDOM / IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914-1918 / ‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN / THAN THIS / THAT A MAN LAY DOWN / HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS’ / THEIR DEEDS WILL LIVE / FOR EVERMORE’. The names of the First World War fallen, numbering 112, are listed on the other three faces of the plinth. A further name is recorded on the south-east face of the top step of the base.

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 Walsall Wood as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. Details of the erection of the memorial are unknown, though it was likely to have been built within the few years after the war ended, and to have been paid for by public subscription. The memorial was originally enclosed by low rails on granite corner posts; these have been removed.

Reasons for Listing

Walsall Wood 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 conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as a well-composed memorial with good quality decorative detailing, which survives unaltered.

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