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Witheridge War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Witheridge, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9179 / 50°55'4"N

Longitude: -3.7037 / 3°42'13"W

OS Eastings: 280337

OS Northings: 114544

OS Grid: SS803145

Mapcode National: GBR L6.QKJY

Mapcode Global: FRA 364P.0YC

Entry Name: Witheridge War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 March 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1462916

Location: Witheridge, North Devon, Devon, EX16

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: Witheridge

Built-Up Area: Witheridge

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


A First World War memorial, built after 1919; altered after the Second World War.


A First World War memorial, built after 1919; altered after the Second World War.


The memorial stands in a prominent roadside location inside the railings (listed Grade II) on the southern edge of the churchyard of the Grade I-listed Church of St John the Baptist. A gate is set in the railings at this point, and a short flight of steps leads to the memorial from the adjacent pavement.

The memorial comprises a roughly-hewn cross in the Celtic style, the face of which is decorated with a relief-carved inverted longsword. The cross stands on a roughly-hewn trapezoidal plinth, on top of a three-stepped base.

The main inscription, in blackened lettering on the smoothed front of the plinth reads: 1914 - 1919 / FOR GOD, KING & COUNTRY / IN MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING MEN OF THIS PARISH, followed by 17 names in two columns.

Beneath this, on the front face of the upper step of the base, is the additional inscription: 1939 1945, followed by five names in two columns.


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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Witheridge as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 17 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

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

Reasons for Listing

Witheridge War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St John the Baptist, 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 fine example of a rough-hewn granite cross with relief-carved decoration;
*Group value: with the Church of St John the Baptist (Grade I), the churchyard gate piers, gates and railings (Grade II) and the nearby K6 telephone kiosk (Grade II).

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