Yate War Memorial and Grave Marker is of 1950 date and comprises a rectangular Portland stone upright marker on a stone base, with an inscribed front field.
Reason for Listing
The War Memorial and Grave Marker, St Mary's churchyard, Yate, Gloucestershire is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: it has strong cultural and historical significance within both a local and national context, and is an unusual example of a memorial to civilian casualties in the Second World War;
* Communal: it forms a poignant reminder of the effects of tragic world events on this local community;
* Architectural interest: although a simple monument, it is an elegant and dignified memorial that contributes to its setting in an historic village.
Parnall & Sons was founded in Bristol in 1820 and operated throughout the C19 as shop fitters and shop front builders, iron and brass founders, manufacturers of scales and weighing machines, and general machinists. During the First World War the company began to produce aircraft for the military. In 1919 the aircraft production arm of the company closed and George G Parnall formed George Parnall & Co. based at the Coliseum Works in Park Row, Bristol to pursue aircraft production. Due to the constraints of the city site, the company moved to a site in Yate, South Gloucestershire in 1925. During the Second World War the company produced air frames and hydraulic turrets for military aircraft.
On 27th February 1941 at 1436hrs a Heinkel He111 piloted by Oberleutnant Herman Lohman dropped seven 250kgs high explosive bombs on the Parnall Aircraft Factory, Yate. A number of the bombs had time delayed fuses therefore some did not explode until ten minutes after having been dropped, increasing the number of casualties. 52 people were killed in the raid including three who were never identified. A further raid on 7th March 1941 resulted in the deaths of three people. Subsequently, eight of the victims were buried in St Mary's churchyard, Yate, and in February 1950 this memorial monument to all of those who lost their lives in the attacks was unveiled on the site.
A war memorial and grave marker erected by the Parnall Aircraft Company, the designer is unknown. It is constructed of Portland stone formed by a moulded, upright stone upon a moulded base, which in turn sits on a plain base. The structure is on a platform of local limestone with two flanking, low-level rectangular planters. The upright element is surmounted by a central bronze plaque of the emblem of Parnall Aircraft Ltd, with the incorporated dates of 1939 – 1945. The upright is rectangular with a semicircular detail framing the bronze plaque. On its principal face, on a raised field, is inscribed the following text; IN MEMORY OF ALL EMPLOYEES OF PARNALL AIRCRAFT LTD. WHO/LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE WAR AS A RESULT OF AIR RAIDS ON/THE COMPANY’S PREMISES AT YATE. Below this text is the date: FEBRUARY 27TH 1941, directly below the date is listed the names (8) of those interred beneath the memorial. The following text reads: ALSO/THREE PERSONS WHO/REMAIN UNIDENTIFIED/*/THE ABOVE WERE LAID/TO REST HERE. Inscribed and listed on the memorial are the names of the others killed (41), above their names is the text; AND THE FOLLOWING WERE LAID TO REST IN OTHER SANCTUARIES. At the lower right hand corner of the field is the date; MARCH 7TH 1941 and below is listed the names of the three people who were killed on that date. The site is situated close to the tower of St. Mary’s Church (Grade I).
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.