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Knebworth War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Knebworth, Hertfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8688 / 51°52'7"N

Longitude: -0.2146 / 0°12'52"W

OS Eastings: 523020

OS Northings: 220424

OS Grid: TL230204

Mapcode National: GBR J88.SNR

Mapcode Global: VHGP6.79D6

Entry Name: Knebworth War Memorial

Listing Date: 29 July 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420192

Location: Knebworth, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, SG3

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Knebworth

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Knebworth

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Summary

War memorial dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars, unveiled in 1920, executed by Gething & Co Ltd.

Description

Knebworth War Memorial was executed by Gething & Co. Ltd c 1920 in limestone. The memorial consists of an octagonal pillar with an ornate carved lantern featuring depictions of Christ on Calvary and Madonna and Child. The pillar stands on a square plinth and stepped base inscribed with the names of the fallen. There are thirty two names of those that fell in the First World War, to which twenty four names were added following the end of the 1939-1945 conflict. A further twelve names of those that fell in the First World War were added in 2013. The memorial is enclosed by a low plinth wall with flat limestone coping, with openings to the north-west and south-east elevations.

Inscription:
(PLINTH): IN HONOUR OF THE / BRAVE MEN FROM THIS / PARISH WHO FOUGHT / IN THANKFULNESS TO GOD / IN REMEMBRANCE OF / THOSE WHO DIED IN / THE GREAT WAR / 1914-1918 / (NAMES)
(BASE): IN REMEMBRANCE ALSO OF THOSE/WHO DIED 1939-1945 / (NAMES) / THEY SHALL BE MINE SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS / IN THAT DAY WHEN I MAKE UP MY JEWELS

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 12 January 2017.

History

The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Prior to then memorials 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, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. 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.

Knebworth War Memorial was erected in 1920 in memory of the fallen in the First World War, and the names of the fallen in the Second World War were subsequently added. The monument was constructed by Gething & Co. Ltd, and was unveiled on 15 August 1920 by Rt Hon Earl of Lytton with dedications from local clergy and dignitaries.

The memorial is prominently located to the south west of Knebworth House, a Grade II* listed mansion, and within the associated Grade II* Registered Park and Garden. It is situated at the junction of Park Lane and a late C19 avenue to Knebworth House, planted to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year (1897). The memorial is flanked to the north and west by twin late C19 lodges (Jubilee Lodges). In 2013 a grant from War Memorials Trust enabled conservation of the memorial, which involved gentle water based cleaning, sharpening of inscriptions, re-painting and the addition of twelve missing names from the First World War.

Reasons for Listing

Knebworth war memorial, unveiled in 1920, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Group Value: for its strong group value it holds with Knebworth House, a Grade II* listed mansion, the associated Grade II* registered park and garden and by its positioning between twin late-C19 Jubilee gate lodges (listed at Grade II);
* Artistic interest: for its artistic detailing, including a carved lantern of the Christ on Calvary and Madonna and Child.

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