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Topsham War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Topsham, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6828 / 50°40'58"N

Longitude: -3.4655 / 3°27'55"W

OS Eastings: 296559

OS Northings: 88038

OS Grid: SX965880

Mapcode National: GBR P2.JRLX

Mapcode Global: FRA 37M8.PNX

Entry Name: Topsham War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 March 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1462899

Location: Exeter, Devon, EX3

County: Devon

District: Exeter

Electoral Ward/Division: Topsham

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Topsham

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Summary


A First World War memorial, built 1920; altered after the Second World War.

Description

A First World War memorial, built 1920; altered after the Second World War.

MATERIALS: granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands in a prominent roadside location to the east of the Church of St Margaret (Grade II*).

The memorial comprises a plain Latin cross with a gently tapering octagonal shaft on a three-tiered octagonal plinth and single-stepped octagonal base.

On the upper tier of the plinth around five sides are inscribed in leaded lettering the 69 names of the fallen. On the middle tier of the plinth is inscribed THEIR NAME/ LIVETH FOR/ EVERMORE; and on the lower tier of the plinth1914 – 1918. An additional inscription in leaded lettering has the names of the 23 who were lost in World War Two on the remaining faces of the upper tier of the plinth, with the dates 1939-1945 on the lower tier.

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 750,000 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 Topsham, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 69 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 28 November 1920 by the vicar, Reverend Guy Halliday. The cost of the memorial was approximately £200 which was met by public subscription.

The names of 23 parishioners who were lost during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Topsham War Memorial, which stands in a prominent roadside location to the east of the Church of St Margaret, 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 simple yet elegant example of a plain Latin cross type of memorial;

Group value

* with the Grade II*-listed Church of St Margaret.

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