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Winsford War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Winsford, Cheshire West and Chester

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1815 / 53°10'53"N

Longitude: -2.5256 / 2°31'32"W

OS Eastings: 364972

OS Northings: 365061

OS Grid: SJ649650

Mapcode National: GBR 7S.3K25

Mapcode Global: WH99R.59LB

Entry Name: Winsford War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1450264

Location: Winsford, Cheshire West and Chester, CW7

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Winsford

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Summary

First World War memorial.

Description

First World War memorial.

DESCRIPTION: Winsford War Memorial is located in the churchyard to the south-west of the Church of St Chad (Grade II*) and is adjacent to the churchyard walls (Grade II). Nearby is a scheduled and Grade II-listed cross base.

It takes the form of a stone Latin cross pommée with carved decoration to the end of each arm. The cross-head rises from a decorative collar incorporating carved scroll work on a tapering, octagonal shaft with moulded foot. This surmounts a square plinth with moulded foot, atop a two-stepped, square base. The plinth and base carry the inscriptions and names in incised lettering.

The principal inscription is to the plinth and reads TO THE HONOUR AND GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE BRAVE/ WINSFORD MEN WHO LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 19. A further inscription is inscribed directly below to the foot of the plinth and reads FOR ALL THESE SAILORS AND SOLDIERS MEMORIAL SERVICES/ WERE HELD IN THIS CHURCH.

The memorial stands within a gravelled area enclosed by stone kerbs.

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. However, this trend had its roots not in the wake of the war but in the midst of the conflict.

As the war progressed and the number of casualties increased memorials were already being built to remember the dead and those still serving on the battlefields abroad. These took the form of private memorials to family members but also a growing number were being erected by, or on behalf of, local communities. The earliest known example of a community memorial is thought to be the War Memorial in Rawtenstall Cemetery, Lancashire (Grade II). Erected in September 1915 at the instigation of Councillor Carrie Whitehead, the intention is clearly inscribed on the memorial for it to act as “some comfort to those who lost men very dear to them.” Another form of early First World War community memorial was the street shrine. This practice originated in the East End of London, but was soon adopted in other towns to commemorate those from a particular street. In some instances these shrines also included relatives from other streets, while some covered whole districts. Surviving examples include those in Eton Street (erected October 1916) and Sharp Street (erected May 1917) in Kingston upon Hull. The erection of memorials in the midst of the conflict was considered controversial by some but by 1917 the desire among communities for some form of commemoration was clear.

The town of Winsford is an example of one such community which chose to erect a memorial before the end of the First World War as a permanent testament to the on-going sacrifice being made by members of the town during the conflict. In July 1916 the proposal to erect a memorial in the newly extended churchyard at the parish church of St Chad was made. The memorial was built by Mr Plumley of the Dingle and is thought to have been erected in 1917 once sufficient funds had been collected. The Reverend William Herbert Stables ensured that the names of the local servicemen who had died were added to the memorial as the parish was notified. By the time the memorial was dedicated on 9 June 1918, 155 names had been inscribed on the memorial. It is believed that over 200 names now feature on the memorial, however, due to weathering of the stonework they are difficult to read.

Reasons for Listing

Winsford War Memorial, which is situated in St Chad’s churchyard, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made during the First World War;
* as an example of an early First World War memorial which was erected before the end of the conflict.

Architectural interest:

* an elegant Latin cross pommée memorial.

Group value:

* with the Grade II*-listed Church of St Chad, the Grade II-listed churchyard walls and the scheduled and Grade II-listed cross base.

Other nearby listed buildings

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