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Mursley War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Mursley, Buckinghamshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.9496 / 51°56'58"N

Longitude: -0.8119 / 0°48'42"W

OS Eastings: 481754

OS Northings: 228564

OS Grid: SP817285

Mapcode National: GBR D15.RK9

Mapcode Global: VHDTK.W859

Entry Name: Mursley War Memorial

Listing Date: 5 August 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1436495

Location: Mursley, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, MK17

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale

Civil Parish: Mursley

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Mursley

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Summary

First World War memorial unveiled on 22 April 1920 with further names added after the Second World War.

Description

MATERIALS: Cornish granite.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial comprises a wheel-head cross, standing approximately 3m high. The shaft and arms of the cross are octagonal in section and the ends of the arms are capped by pyramidal bosses. The cross surmounts a shaft which stands on a two-staged plinth, both of which are square in section. The lower plinth is much larger and it bears the inscription, all of which is of inset black-painted lead. The memorial stands on a two-stepped base.

The front, east, face of the plinth bears the following inscription: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN PROUD AND UNDYING/ MEMORY OF THOSE MEN OF THIS/ PARISH WHO FOUGHT AND DIED FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1918. There is short horizontal line beneath which appear the names of nine men, in order of rank. At the base of the plinth appear the words: GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS THAT/ A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. Set centrally on the north face is the following: 1939 - 1945 beneath which there is a short horizontal line and then the names of five fallen from the Second World War.

History

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England, 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.

One such memorial was raised at Mursley as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The builder was A J Gurney of Stantonbury. The memorial was unveiled on 22 April 1920, by Mrs O Selby-Lowndes, who was presumably a relative of Lieutenant Meyrick Edward Selby-Lowndes, mentioned on the memorial. The officiating clergymen were the Rev J Moxon, Rev J R Forrest and Rev J Sturgess.

Following the Second World War, five names of those who lost their lives in that war were also added. The two men named Wigley were brothers and both served with 242 Squadron, Royal Air Force, in the Far East. Both were captured during the retreat from the advancing Japanese. LAC Charles Wigley died on 24 June 1944, aged 32 years. AC2 George Wigley died on 29 November 1943 following the sinking of a hospital ship by a US Navy submarine. All the survivors from that ship were killed by the Japanese. Neither has a known grave, and they are commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.


Reasons for Listing

Mursley War Memorial, unveiled on 22 April 1920, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Design: as an elegant and well-proportioned wheel-head cross;
* Group value: with the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, listed at Grade II*.

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