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War Memorial in Churchyard of St George's Church, Leicester

Description: War Memorial in Churchyard of St George's Church

Grade: II
Date Listed: 28 August 2013
Building ID: 1415471

OS Grid Reference: SK5922004403
OS Grid Coordinates: 459220, 304403
Latitude/Longitude: 52.6342, -1.1264

Locality: Leicester
County: Leicester
Postcode: LE1 1AF

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Listing Text


First World War memorial erected in 1921 to the designs of W. D. Caröe.

Reason for Listing

The First World War memorial, erected in 1921 to the designs of W. D. Caröe, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: it has special historic interest commemorating those members of the community who died in the First World War;

* Architectural interest: it is a well-detailed memorial designed by William Douglas Caröe, an eminent architect who has five other World War I memorials on the List at Grade II;

* Group value: it has strong group value with the Grade II* listed Church of St George, the nave of which had been rebuilt by Caröe in 1911.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until the end of the C19. Memorials before this date 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. This was the first major war to take place after reforms to the British Army led to the recruitment of regiments from local communities. 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.

The war memorial dedicated to the fallen from the parish of St George was dedicated by the Reverend Noel Mellish in 1921. It was built at a cost of £490 by the stonemasons W. Thrall & Son to the design of William Douglas Caröe (1857-1938). Caröe had been responsible for rebuilding the nave at St George’s Church after it was damaged by fire in 1911. He was a pioneer of building conservation, and had been appointed Senior Architect to the Church Commissioners in 1895. Caröe restored many churches and he designed both domestic and commercial buildings, many of which are listed, such as the Offices of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Church Estates in Millbank, London (Grade II*).


First World War memorial erected in 1921 to the designs of W. D. Caröe.

MATERIALS: sandstone ashlar and timber.

EXTERIOR: the memorial comprises a wooden crucifix resting on a hexagonal stone plinth, with a moulded cornice and base, and alternating recessed sides with moulded segmental arches. This rests on a tall hexagonal five-stepped stone base, the south side of which bears a square stone tablet engraved with the inscription: ‘DEDICATED BY THE RV NOEL MELLISH VC WITH PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING FOR THOSE WHO FROM THIS CHURCH AND PARISH OF S. GEORGE THE SOLDIER MARTYR LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR: 1914 1918 / LORD ALL PITYING JESU BLEST GRANT THEM THINE ETERNAL REST’ followed by the names of the fallen.

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