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West Down War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in West Down, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1584 / 51°9'30"N

Longitude: -4.1235 / 4°7'24"W

OS Eastings: 251598

OS Northings: 142051

OS Grid: SS515420

Mapcode National: GBR KN.7761

Mapcode Global: VH4MJ.G4XS

Entry Name: West Down War Memorial

Listing Date: 21 February 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1462655

Location: West Down, North Devon, Devon, EX34

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: West Down

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Summary


A First World War memorial dating from around 1920.

Description

A First World War memorial dating from around 1920.

MATERIALS: the memorial is constructed from granite.

PLAN: the memorial stands adjacent to the path about 40m north-west of the Church of St Calixtus.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial comprises a plain Latin cross with chamfered edges set atop a tall, square, five-stepped base. The main inscription in leaded lettering on the western face of the upper step reads:

THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED/ BY THE PARISHIONERS OF WEST DOWN/ IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF THE PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919

The names of ten of the First World War fallen are given in two columns on the western face of the second step, and twelve men in three columns on the third step, beneath which is the inscription FIGHT A GOOD FIGHT.

On the southern face of the upper step is the additional inscription:

ROBERT WILLIAM DAVIS/ WHO FELL IN WORLD WAR II/ 1939 - 1945.

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

One such memorial was raised at West Down, in the churchyard of the parish church, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 22 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The name of the single parishioner who fell during the Second World War was subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

West Down War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it is a dignified and sombre stone cross, neatly made and well-proportioned.

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact on the local community of the events of the First World War.

Group value:

* with the Grade I listed Church of St Calixtus.

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