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Bennetthorpe War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Town, Doncaster

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5199 / 53°31'11"N

Longitude: -1.1221 / 1°7'19"W

OS Eastings: 458306

OS Northings: 402940

OS Grid: SE583029

Mapcode National: GBR NWLQ.WY

Mapcode Global: WHDD2.QSWF

Entry Name: Bennetthorpe War Memorial

Listing Date: 12 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1421462

Location: Doncaster, DN2

County: Doncaster

Electoral Ward/Division: Town

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Doncaster

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Doncaster Holy Trinity (No church)

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

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Summary

War Memorial commemorating the First World War and Second World War. 1923 by Ernest Prestwich of Leigh. Stancliffe sandstone from Derbyshire.

Description

War Memorial commemorating the First World War and Second World War. 1923 by Ernest Prestwich of Leigh. Stancliffe sandstone from Derbyshire.

PLAN: obelisk topped by a grieving figure standing on square pedestal with a stepped plinth.

DESCRIPTION: the 10.6m (35ft) war memorial faces onto Bennetthorpe to its north and is in line with the main entrance gateway into Elmfield Park on its south side. The tall, tapering obelisk is formed of large, ashlar blocks with a relief-carved laurel wreath towards the apex of each face beneath a fluted entablature and stepped plinth on which a figure stands. The stone statue is of an allegorical standing woman possibly representing Sacrifice or Grief. She wears robes of a religious character with a headdress and stands with head bowed and hands in front holding out a laurel wreath. Towards the base of the obelisk is a slightly projecting band with a relief-carved geometric pattern and on the north and south faces a relief carving of the Borough of Doncaster coat of arms within a garter with relief lettering of the old Borough motto CONFORT ET LIESSE (Comfort and Joy). Attached above the coat of arms is a bronze broadsword, blade down, similar to those which form an integral component of the Cross of Sacrifice designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission. The east and west faces of the obelisk each have a brass flag boss. The north face of the square pedestal has a rectangular, relief plaque inscribed OUR / GLORIOUS / DEAD /1914 – 1918 with a relief frame of stylised acanthus on three sides. Beneath the plaque 1939 – 1945 is inscribed into the pedestal. The other three faces of the pedestal have slightly sunken, rectangular panels with relief carvings depicting the three branches of the armed forces as well as civilians. The panel on the east face depicts the Royal Air Force eagle badge with a tableau beneath of a child holding a model plane, a blacksmith, an allegorical figure, possibly Victory, holding a palm, and a pilot. The panel on the west face depicts Britannia and various ships, said to be Drake's ship, the Golden Hind, Nelson's Victory, a contemporary battle cruiser and a merchant ship. The panel on the south face depicts St George in the centre flanked by a solder and a Red Cross nurse. The pedestal stands on an irregularly stepped plinth.

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, 31 January 2017.

History

On 31 December 1920 Doncaster Corporation acquired Elmfield Park and two years later the Estates Surveyor prepared plans for the Bennetthorpe entrance and a site for the war memorial where it would provide a focal point for the principal north-south route through the park. The war memorial in the form of an obelisk was designed by Ernest Prestwich of Leigh, and was possibly constructed by J & H Patteson of Manchester. The park was opened and the War Memorial unveiled on 12th March 1923 by Colonel C C Moxon. Contemporary newspaper reports highlighted the need for continued public subscription to pay for the monument at this time.

In 1924 the council authorised fencing around the monument, which is visible in a postcard view of 1929 but has since been removed. The dates of the Second World War were later added beneath the original inscription.

The bronze sword on the south face of the obelisk was damaged in 2011 when the sword tip was broken off. It has since been repaired.

Reasons for Listing

Bennethorpe War Memorial, Doncaster, of 1923 by Ernest Prestwich of Leigh 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 made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Design: Along with plaques depicting the three branches of the armed forces the monument also refers to civilian losses depicting a red cross nurse, a blacksmith and a merchant ship;
* Architectural: a well-designed and eye-catching obelisk memorial incorporating high quality craftsmanship particularly in the form of the relief-carved stone panels.

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