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Aldridge War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Aldridge Central and South, Walsall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6042 / 52°36'15"N

Longitude: -1.9133 / 1°54'47"W

OS Eastings: 405969

OS Northings: 300716

OS Grid: SK059007

Mapcode National: GBR 3D5.P2Y

Mapcode Global: WHBFW.LS4X

Entry Name: Aldridge War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1422545

Location: Walsall, WS9

County: Walsall

Electoral Ward/Division: Aldridge Central and South

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Aldridge

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Aldridge St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Walsall

Summary

War memorial with a stone Celtic cross, erected in 1919. It was moved to its current position in 1956, at which time the surrounding flower garden was constructed.

Description

A war memorial of 1919, moved to its current position in 1956, at which time the surrounding flower garden was constructed.

MATERIALS: constructed of stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is a freestanding Celtic Cross is a raised garden, surrounded on three sides by stone flower beds of five-courses plus coping stones. Square planters are built into the four corners of the walls. There are two steps to a central opening in the north-west wall. At the south-east entrance are two steel handrails* set in the ground spanning two shallow steps up to the memorial. The paved area* around the cross extends beyond the flower bed walls to form a rectangular area and incorporates a grass cross to the south east, edged in engineering brick.

The memorial is square on plan with a rubble plinth and an ashlar base and cross shaft. The base is in two sections: the lower block having a slightly curved top connecting with a narrower, taller upper block with carved mouldings including a central pediment design, and forming an informal entablature below the plain cross shaft. The north-west face of the cross has carved knot emblems extending from a central hemisphere.

The main (north-west) face of the shaft bears the inscription: TO THE/ GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN THE MEMORY OF THE/ ALDRIDGE MEN/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR/ HONOUR AND FREEDOM/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ "BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH/ AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE". The rear (south-east) of the shaft is inscribed thus: AND/ IN MEMORY OF THOSE/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE/ SECOND WORLD WAR/ 1939-1945. The front and left faces of the plinth are inscribed with the names of the men lost in the First World War. The rear and right faces with those who died in the Second World War. Inscriptions are in lead.

Two stone flower pots are set next to the memorial. On the outside of the north-east wall is a freestanding stone with a bronze plaque inscribed: IN MEMORY OF/CAPT. CHARLES GEORGE BONNER (“GUS”)/V.C. D.S.C. R.N.R./1884-1951/AN ALDRIDGE MAN AWARDED/THE VICTORIA CROSS/FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY IN ACTION/WITH AN ENEMY SUBMARINE/ON BOARD HMS DUNRAVEN/8TH AUGUST 1917.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 17 January 2017.

History

The war memorial was dedicated by the Bishop of Stafford in 1919. It was moved from its original position in St Mary’s churchyard in 1956. It is not marked on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1938, but is shown on the Map of 1967 in its current setting enclosed by a small garden. The lettering was restored and the cross cleaned in 1979.

Reasons for Listing

The war memorial in Aldridge, moved to its current location in 1956, 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;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet refined Celtic cross design, well-crafted in stone, and set within later but sympathetically-arranged gardens;
* Intactness: the structure is unaltered since it was relocated to this site in the 1950s;
* Group value: it makes a positive and important contribution to the street scene and groups well with the neighbouring listed buildings.

Other nearby listed buildings

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