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Birstall War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Birstall, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.6742 / 52°40'27"N

Longitude: -1.1187 / 1°7'7"W

OS Eastings: 459687

OS Northings: 308866

OS Grid: SK596088

Mapcode National: GBR FK3.Z7

Mapcode Global: WHDJB.S1HP

Entry Name: Birstall War Memorial

Listing Date: 26 October 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1410088

Location: Birstall, Charnwood, Leicestershire, LE4

County: Leicestershire

District: Charnwood

Civil Parish: Birstall

Built-Up Area: Birstall

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Birstall St James the Great

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

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War memorial designed by Howard Henry Thomson and unveiled in 1921.


MATERIALS: Ashlar stone and slate plaque.

PLAN: the memorial is located to the east of the church at the edge of the churchyard.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is set on a square-shaped base with two shallow steps and one lower, segmental-shaped step, on the west side. It has a square plinth which supports the four-sided, tapered shaft, enriched along each edge with cable moulding, and surmounted by a plain square capital and wheel-head cross. Attached to the east side of the shaft is a stone carved sword of sacrifice. The plinth has slate memorial plaques on three sides with gold inscriptions. On the east side the inscription reads: ‘TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN HONOURED MEMORY OF THE MEN OF BIRSTALL WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WARS 1914-1919 1939-1945’. On the west side the names of the fallen from the First World War are inscribed, and on the north side are those from the Second World War.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 10 August 2017.


The war memorial was dedicated by the Venerable Archdeacon F. B. MacNutt and unveiled by Major General Sir A. R. Hoskins on 5 March 1921. The names of the fallen from the Second World War were later added. The memorial was designed by Howard Henry Thomson (1865-1922). Little is known of him except that he practised in Leicester and won the competition with Stockdale Harrison for Usher Hall, Edinburgh, c1910. Thomson does not have any listed buildings to his name.

Reasons for Listing

The war memorial, designed by Howard Henry Thomson and unveiled in 1921, is designated 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 and Second World Wars;
* Architectural interest: the standard cross design has been enriched with cable moulding along the edges of the shaft and a carved sword of sacrifice on the east side;
* Group value: it has strong group value with the Grade II listed Church of St James the Great.

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