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Combe War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Combe, Witney, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8406 / 51°50'26"N

Longitude: -1.4032 / 1°24'11"W

OS Eastings: 441215

OS Northings: 215950

OS Grid: SP412159

Mapcode National: GBR 7WG.D35

Mapcode Global: VHBZQ.MZKV

Plus Code: 9C3WRHRW+7P

Entry Name: Combe War Memorial

Listing Date: 26 April 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1463111

Location: Combe, West Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, OX29

County: Oxfordshire

District: West Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Combe

Built-Up Area: Combe

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire


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


First World War memorial of unknown date. The memorial stands on a paved area set within the wider green in close proximity to Oak Cottage, Oakdene and The Cock Inn (all listed Grade II; List entries 1283751, 1283737 and 1053015 respectively).

DESCRIPTION: small stone Latin cross rising from a pedestal with an arched collar. The pedestal is set on a two-stepped base. The north face of the pedestal bears an incised inscription which reads TO THE MEMORY/ OF THE/ MEN OF COOMBE/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WARS/ 1914 – 1918/ GREATER LOVE HATH/ NO MAN THAN THIS/ THAT A MAN LAY DOWN/ HIS LIFE FOR HIS/ FRIENDS/ 1939-1945. The names of 11 of the fallen from the First World War are recorded on the remaining faces, with a Second World War inscription recording a single name added to the east face of the pedestal.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Prior to then memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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 Combe as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 11 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The date of completion and the designer of the memorial is not known. Following the Second World War a single name was added to the memorial. The memorial was repaired in 1996 and in 2001 the area around the memorial was re-paved with grant assistance from War Memorials Trust.

Reasons for Listing

The Combe War Memorial on Combe Green 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 sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as a well-composed memorial with neat detailing and original memorial inscriptions.

Group value:

* with the Grade II listed Oak Cottage, Oakdene and The Cock Inn which front onto Combe Green.

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