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Cranfield War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Cranfield, Central Bedfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0682 / 52°4'5"N

Longitude: -0.6088 / 0°36'31"W

OS Eastings: 495459

OS Northings: 242010

OS Grid: SP954420

Mapcode National: GBR F1F.8X0

Mapcode Global: VHFQK.D8JT

Entry Name: Cranfield War Memorial

Listing Date: 25 July 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420378

Location: Cranfield, Central Bedfordshire, MK43

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Cranfield

Built-Up Area: Cranfield

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Cranfield

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Summary

War memorial, erected c1920, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.

Description

Cranfield war memorial was erected c1920. The memorial takes the form of a plain stone cross with chamfered corners on an octagonal plinth and stepped base. A cast metal sword is attached to the north-west elevation of the cross. The names of the fallen are inscribed on the plinth, with forty-three names of those who fell in the First World War, and nine names of those who fell in the Second World War. The memorial is surrounded by a gravel path and flower beds, and is enclosed by low metal fencing with a pedestrian gate opening from High Street to the west.

The Inscription reads: IN LOVINGĀ / AND GRATEFUL MEMORY / OF THOSE CRANFIELD MEN / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR / KING AND COUNTRY IN THE / THE GREAT WARS. / 1914-1919 AND 1939-1945 / THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE

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, 16 January 2017.

History

The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the 19th century. 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 in the aftermath of the First World War that we saw 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. War memorials thus provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
The Cranfield war memorial was erected c1920 following the First World War, with forty-three names of the fallen inscribed on the plinth. Following the Second World War, the inscription was amended to include nine names of the fallen in the 1939-1945 conflict.
The war memorial is strategically located at the junction of High Street and Church Walk. It lies along the approach to the Grade I listed Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which also contains a Roll of Honour in the form of a scroll.

Reasons for Listing

Cranfield war memorial, erected c1920, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical 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 the Grade I listed Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which also contains a Roll of Honour.

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