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East Barsham (Griffith) War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Barsham, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8667 / 52°52'0"N

Longitude: 0.8467 / 0°50'47"E

OS Eastings: 591709

OS Northings: 333708

OS Grid: TF917337

Mapcode National: GBR R6Y.BVR

Mapcode Global: WHKPZ.Z6BN

Entry Name: East Barsham (Griffith) War Memorial

Listing Date: 3 August 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1447893

Location: Barsham, North Norfolk, Norfolk, NR21

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk

Civil Parish: Barsham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

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East Barsham

Summary

First World War memorial with a Second World War addition.

Description

First World War memorial with a Second World War addition.

MATERIALS: sandstone cross and shaft.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial is located within the churchyard extension to the Church of All Saints (Grade II*listed). It comprises a wheel-head, Calvary cross with a sculpted depiction of the Crucifixion to the cross-head and shaft. The cross-head has fleur-de-lis carved in relief to the four sections of the wheel, while the shaft has a moulded foot and rises from a square plinth atop a three-stepped, square base. The plinth has a moulded cornice and foot and carries the inscriptions on three faces.

INSCRIPTION: the inscriptions are incised and that to the front face reads: IN PROUD MEMORY OF/ THOMAS COMBER GRIFFITH/ LIEUT 1ST LOYAL NORTH LANCS/ AND 1ST (DYERS) SLAVO BRITISH LEGION/ KILLED AT TROITSA/ ON THE DVINA NORTH RUSSIA/ JULY 7 1919 AGED 24/ RIP.

The second plinth face reads: AND OF/ HENRY GRIFFITH PAGAN LOWE D C M/ 2ND LIEUT ROYAL FLYING CORPS/ (SQUADRON 45)/ DESPATCH RIDER R.E. 1914 - 15/ KILLED IN FRANCE NOVEMBER 8TH 1916/ AGED 28/ RIP.

The third face reads: ALSO/ RENTON P. WALKER/ ROYAL NORFOLK REGT/ BORN 1917/ DIED IN INDIA 1943.

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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also 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. As well as community memorials, private memorials were also erected as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of their family who lost their lives in the First World War.

One such memorial was raised at East Barsham in the churchyard extension to the Church of All Saints by the incumbent Reverend C E O Griffith. It commemorates Reverend Griffith’s son Thomas Comber Griffith and another relative Henry Lowe, who both served in the First World War. There is a further inscription to Renton P Walker who died in the Second World War.

Lieutenant Thomas Comber Griffith was a special reserve officer attached to the 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at the outbreak of war in 1914. He fought in France, Flanders, and took part in the first battle of Ypres before he was captured on 2 November 1914. He spent the subsequent years as a prisoner of war and eventually returned to England in November 1918. Not long after his return, Griffith volunteered for the Eastern Front in Russia and was eventually assigned to Dyers battalion of the Slavo British Legion, which included ex-Bolshevik soldiers. Lieutenant Griffith was killed by the Russian soldiers as part of a mutiny on board their ship on the River Dvina. He died on 7 July 1919, age 24.

Henry Griffith Pagan Lowe was part of the Royal Flying Corps and was killed in France on 8 November 1916, age 28.

Renton P Walker was the son of Ethel Mary Walker (nee Griffith). He served in the Second World War as a Captain in the Royal Norfolk Regiment attached to the Royal Indian Army Service Corps. He died in India on 24 April 1943, age 25.

Inside All Saints Church, there is a tablet inscribed with the 19 names of all those of the parish who served and returned from the First World War. There is also a plaque naming the 6 servicemen who died, including Lieutenant Griffith.

Reasons for Listing

East Barsham war memorial, which is situated in All Saints churchyard extension on the east side of Fakenham Road, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:
* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on one family, and the sacrifice they made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:
* as an elegant and striking wheel-head Calvary cross with fine sculptural details.

Group Value:
* for its relationship with the Grade II*-listed Church of All Saints, whose incumbent raised the memorial to members of his family, including his son.

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