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Summertown War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Oxford, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7803 / 51°46'49"N

Longitude: -1.2659 / 1°15'57"W

OS Eastings: 450741

OS Northings: 209328

OS Grid: SP507093

Mapcode National: GBR 7XD.BRV

Mapcode Global: VHCXN.0JM1

Entry Name: Summertown War Memorial

Listing Date: 31 October 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1438950

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2

County: Oxfordshire

District: Oxford

Electoral Ward/Division: Summertown

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Oxford

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Summertown St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled on 5 October 1921, with Second World War additions.

Description

The memorial comprises a three-stepped octagonal base which is surmounted by an octagonal plinth with the inscription on the western side which reads: IN THE WAY/ OF RIGHTEOUSNESS/ IS LIFE/ AND IN/ THE PATHWAY/ THEREOF/ THERE IS NO DEATH (from Proverbs 12:28).

On the eastern side of the plinth the inscription reads: IN PROUD/ AND GRATEFUL/ REMEMBRANCE/ OF THE MEN OF/ SUMMERTOWN WHO/ NOBLY GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR KING/ AND COUNTRY AND/ RIGHTEOUSNESS/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ 1939 – 1945.

The plinth is surmounted by an octagonal tapering shaft and a Latin cross which bears a Sword of Sacrifice.

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, 23 November 2017.

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 Summertown as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Alderman Francis Twining gave £500 to purchase the site that both the Summertown Church Hall and the cross are built upon. The memorial was built four years before the hall by Boulton and Paul Ltd of Norwich. It was unveiled on the 5 October 1921 by General Sir Arthur Phayre, KCB, and was dedicated by Bishop Edward Shaw, the Archdeacon of Oxford.

After the Second World War the dates 1939 - 1945 were added to the inscription on the eastern side of the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Summertown War Memorial 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;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet elegant Latin cross with Sword of Sacrifice.

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