First World War memorial, erected by 1921. Later additions for the Second World War.
Reason for Listing
Helmdon War Memorial, which stands on a triangular Green in the village, 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 sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20; * Design: a large and well-executed Celtic cross.
The war memorial was in place by July 1921 and dedicated by the Bishop of Leicester. The local Helmdon stone quarries were worked out by that time and the material for the memorial, greyish-purple Hornton stone, came from the Edge Hill quarries near Banbury. John Campin was the stone mason, and it is said that two years after it was erected the memorial collapsed in a storm, subsequently being re-erected somewhat lower in height. At one time, the memorial was surrounded by a picket fence enclosing the triangular Green on which the memorial stands. This fence has since been replaced.
The memorial, overall c 4m tall, stands on a small, triangular Green. It comprises an apparently outsize wheel-head cross (perhaps because the shaft was originally taller) with blind tracery carved at the cross centre and decorating the cross arms. This stands at the top of a square-sectioned shaft, which rises from a short plinth. That stands on a taller base of a yellower stone. The memorial stands on a concrete surround.On the base of the shaft is inscribed REMEMBER HIM/ WHO DIED FOR/ US ALL FORGET/ NOT THE MEN WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR ENGLAND. The names of those who died in the First World War are carved on the plinth. A plaque has been added to the base commemorating the name of one man who died in the Second World War.To one side of the memorial a stone plaque set on the ground records the names of ten men of the US Army Air Corps who lost their lives in an aircraft crash at Astwell Castle Farm, approximately 2km to the east of Helmdon, on 30 November 1943.The modern post and chain fence around the memorial is excluded from the listing.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.