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Letchworth Garden City War Memorial, North Hertfordshire

Description: Letchworth Garden City War Memorial

Grade: II
Date Listed: 9 August 2013
Building ID: 1413410

OS Grid Reference: TL2173432717
OS Grid Coordinates: 521734, 232717
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9796, -0.2289

Locality: North Hertfordshire
Local Authority: North Hertfordshire District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Postcode: SG6 3AX

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Listing Text


War Memorials, First and Second World Wars.

Reason for Listing

Letchworth War Memorial, unveiled in 1921, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical interest: it is a moving reminder of the impact on the community of two World Wars, of the sacrifice of those who died and the suffering of those they left behind;

* Group Value: its simple but moving design is enhanced by its garden setting, part of the Grade II registered Broadway Park


Letchworth Garden City War Memorial was unveiled on Dec 11th 1921 by Viscount Hampden. It was erected as a memorial to the 145 men who died in World War I and was designed by Onslow E Whiting. The central wards of the hospital were also erected as a memorial, a reference to which is included in the inscription on the plinth at the base of the cross. A memorial to those who died in World War II is to the north of the memorial cross.

Onslow E Whiting (1891-1937) was a sculptor, silversmith, goldsmith and teacher, and was successful enough to have a house built for himself in Letchworth in 1905.


War Memorial, First and Second World Wars; unveiled 1921; designed by Onslow E Whiting; constructed of limestone.

The Letchworth Garden City First World War memorial takes the form of a Celtic cross with a tapering shaft rising above a tall stepped plinth. The plinth stands on two square steps surrounded by limestone paving. The south face of the plinth carries the following incised inscription: THIS CROSS AND THE CENTRAL WARDS OF THE HOSPITAL ARE ERECTED IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF THE MEN OF THIS TOWN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918. Above this, inscribed on the base of the cross is the date MCMXXI (1921). The names of those who died are inscribed around the other three faces of the plinth.

The cross is set in a small garden defined by hedges and backed by trees and shrubs, part of the Grade II registered Broadway (National Heritage List for England no. 1000908). Set into the hedge behind the cross, to the north, is a limestone screen with three bronze plaques inscribed with the 187 names of those who died in World War II. The inscription on the limestone plinth below the plaques reads: FOR HONOR FOR LIBERTY FOR RIGHT 1939+1945 SHALL THESE HAVE DIED IN VAIN? The limestone paving that surrounds the cross continues to the north to form a path connecting the two memorials.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.