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Olveston War Memorial with associated steps and flanking dwarf walls

A Grade II Listed Building in Olveston, South Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5829 / 51°34'58"N

Longitude: -2.5771 / 2°34'37"W

OS Eastings: 360107

OS Northings: 187268

OS Grid: ST601872

Mapcode National: GBR JR.CGFS

Mapcode Global: VH882.8GXY

Entry Name: Olveston War Memorial with associated steps and flanking dwarf walls

Listing Date: 2 June 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1424836

Location: Olveston, South Gloucestershire, BS35

County: South Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Olveston

Built-Up Area: Olveston

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Olveston

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

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Summary

War memorial with associated steps and flanking dwarf walls, erected in 1920. Designed by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, with associated steps and flanking dwarf walls designed by the Bristol architect, Graham Awdry.

Description

War memorial, erected in 1920, to a design of the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, with associated steps and flanking dwarf walls designed by the Bristol architect, Graham Awdry.

MATERIALS: carved of stone, with bronze long swords and plaques.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial stands in the south-east corner of the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, at the junction of Church Hill and The Street. It takes the form of a Cross of Sacrifice with inset bronze long swords to its front and back face. The octagonal cross and shaft is mounted on an octagonal base, plinth and platform, each increasing in diameter. To the bottom of the shaft is a bronze plaque with the inscription:

IN / COMMEMORATION / OF / THE VE / VJ / 50TH ANNIVERSARY / CELEBRATIONS / 1995

Beneath, to the south-east side of the base, is a further plaque with the inscription:

THIS CROSS / IS ERECTED BY / THE PARISHIONERS OF OLVESTON / TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY / OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / FOR THEIR COUNTRY / IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918 / THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE

The plaque to either side lists the names of the 33 men who died in the First World War. Beneath the plaque to the left is a small plaque inscribed WILLIAM EDWARD LANSDOWN (KOREA). To the left is a further plaque commemorating the four men who died in the Second World War.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the memorial is approached from Church Hill by a flight of four stone steps arranged as a demi-octagon, and flanked by sections of dwarf wall with large chamfered coping stones. To the rounded ends of the wall are ‘bun'-shaped finials.

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, 11 January 2017.

History

The great age of memorial building was in the aftermath of the First World War with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. The war memorial at Olveston employs the Cross of Sacrifice designed by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield. Blomfield was one of the senior architects commissioned by the Imperial War Graves Commission (renamed the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 1960) and in 1918 he created the Cross of Sacrifice, which takes the form of an elongated Latin cross, whose shaft and cross arm are octagonal in shape, and is usually mounted on an octagonal base. A bronze longsword is fixed to the front, and often the back, of the cross. The Cross of Sacrifice was erected in war cemeteries that had more than 40 graves, and its design was intended to represent both the Christian faith of the majority of the men being commemorated and the military character of the cemetery. Its design was widely praised and has consequently been imitated in numerous village war memorials, such as at Olveston.

The war memorial at Olveston was constructed at a cost of £515 3s 5d, and was unveiled by the Dean of Bristol on the 1 August 1920. Originally commemorating the 33 men who died in the First World War an additional plaque was added following the Second World War, and the Korean War. In 1995 a further plaque was added to the base of the cross commemorating the 50th anniversary of both V. E. (Victory in Europe) and V. J. (Victory in Japan) Day.

To accommodate the war memorial which stands to the south-east corner of the churchyard of the church of St Mary (Grade II*), the boundary wall was partially demolished and adapted by the Bristol architect, Graham Awdry.

Reasons for Listing

Olveston war memorial, the associated steps and flanking dwarf walls, is listed at Grade II for the following reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: as a Cross of Sacrifice, based on a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission in 1918;
* Intactness: the memorial is situated it is original location and is intact;
* Group value: it has group value with St Mary’s church (Grade II*) and neighbouring Grade II listed buildings.

Other nearby listed buildings

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