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East Cowes Air Raid Protection (Civil Defence) Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in East Cowes, Isle of Wight

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.758 / 50°45'28"N

Longitude: -1.2862 / 1°17'10"W

OS Eastings: 450442

OS Northings: 95616

OS Grid: SZ504956

Mapcode National: GBR 89R.KLP

Mapcode Global: FRA 8762.LQL

Plus Code: 9C2WQP57+5G

Entry Name: East Cowes Air Raid Protection (Civil Defence) Memorial

Listing Date: 22 April 2020

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1469253

Location: East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: East Cowes

Built-Up Area: East Cowes

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Tagged with: War memorial

Summary


Memorial, erected following the Second World War, to commemorate the loss of members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service.

Description


Memorial, erected following the Second World War, to commemorate the loss of members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service.

MATERIALS: limestone.

DESCRIPTION: a plain Latin cross surmounted on a square plinth. The plinth is topped by a carving intended to represent rubble and incorporates a stone carving depicting an object often used by ARP wardens including a helmet, lamp, and water bottle.

The north-west side of the plinth contains the inscription 'SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF (NAMES)/ KILLED ON DUTY DURING THE WAR 1939-1945/ “WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”/ ERECTED BY THEIR COMRADES OF THE CIVIL DEFENCE/ WARDEN AND AMBULANCE SERVICE EAST COWES.

History



The memorial was erected in the churchyard of the Church of St James in East Cowes to commemorate the loss of four members of the local Air Raid Precautions service people who died while on duty during the Second World War. It was erected by their fellow members of the East Cowes Civil Defence Warden and Ambulance Service.

The Air Raid Precautions (ARP) service was created in April 1937. It was created after the First World War, when military experts predicted that in any future war there would be large-scale bombing of the British civilian population, resulting in huge casualties. In 1938 about 200,000 people were involved, with another half a million enrolling during the Munich Crisis of September 1938. By the outbreak of the Second World War there were more than 1.5 million women and men in the ARP, later renamed the Civil Defence. ARP members had a range of duties, with most visible representation being that of air raid wardens. In the early months of the war they were responsible for registering everyone in their sector and enforcing 'blackouts'. ARP wardens would often be first on the scene following air raids, carrying out first aid, extinguishing small fires and helping to organise emergency responses. Other members of the Civil Defence services included rescue and stretcher parties, the staff of control centres and messenger boys. A small percentage of ARP wardens were full-time and were paid a salary, but most were part-time volunteers who carried out their ARP duties as well as full-time job.

The Isle of Wight was subject to frequent German air raids, during the Second World War. Several bombs fell on the area of Cowes and East Cowes, with some of the worst raids occurring on 4 and 5 May 1942, in which two of the East Cowes Civil-Defence service people named on this memorial died.


Reasons for Listing


The East Cowes Civil Defence memorial, East Cowes, Isle of Wight is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of the Second World War on the local community, in particular the sacrifice of those contributing to the defence of the country on the home front;
* as a rare example of a memorial solely dedicated to a group of civil defence workers.

Architectural interest:

* the plinth incorporates an evocative and detailed carving which depicts various objects and protective equipment commonly associated with civil defence workers.

Group value:

* with the East Cowes War Memorial (Grade II) opposite, Church of St James (Grade II), and the church gate piers and wall (Grade II).

External Links

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