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Box and Ditteridge War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Box, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4147 / 51°24'52"N

Longitude: -2.2547 / 2°15'16"W

OS Eastings: 382385

OS Northings: 168441

OS Grid: ST823684

Mapcode National: GBR 1RL.6SF

Mapcode Global: VH96G.VPXV

Entry Name: Box and Ditteridge War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1450973

Location: Box, Wiltshire, SN13

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Box

Built-Up Area: Box

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Description

The memorial stands at the centre of a small garden at the junction of the Bath Road (A4) and the Devizes road (A365). The garden is enclosed by a stone wall with pillars on the north and east sides, and posts at street level on the south side, that carry spiked chains. The memorial is carved from local limestone.

The memorial comprises a very tall octagonal cross standing on an elaborate plinth in two stages, with an octagonal three-stepped base. The heavily moulded foot of the cross shaft stands on the upper stage, a corniced pedestal, square on plan, with volutes at the corners. The lower stage, octagonal on plan and also corniced, has eight inset limestone panels recording commemorated names. Two of the panels retain their original incised inscriptions, whilst the remaining six panels were replaced in or after 1936 as weather had damaged the original inscriptions.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the western panel reads ERECTED A.D. 1920, BY PUBLIC/ SUBSCRIPTION./ IN EVER GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF/ THE MEN FROM BOX AND DITTERIDGE,/ WHO DURING THE GREAT WAR 1914-18,/ LEFT ALL THAT WAS DEAR TO THEM/ AT THE CALL OF DUTY,/ TO ENDURE HARDSHIP, TO FACE DANGER,/ AND GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE WORLD.

A further inscription running around the foot of the cross shaft reads THEIR/ NAME/ LIVETH/ FOR/ EVERMORE.

Three bronze panels on the upper stage of the plinth commemorate the 18 parishioners who died during 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. 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.

One such memorial was raised at Box as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 43 parishioners of Box and Ditteridge who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was designed by Mr Arthur Chaffey of Box, with inscriptions authored by Reverend Vere Awdry, and the limestone was given by the local quarries. The full cost of the memorial was met by public subscriptions. It was unveiled on Saturday 30 October 1920 by Mr George Wilbraham-Northey, Lord of the Manor.

Three bronze panels were subsequently added to commemorate the parishioners who gave their lives in the Second World War.

Reasons for Listing

Box and Ditteridge War Memorial, which stands at the junction of Bath Road and Devizes 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 the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* an elaborate, elegant memorial cross in local limestone.

Group value:

* with a number of Grade II-listed properties in close proximity, and the Grade I-listed Church of St Thomas a Becket.

Other nearby listed buildings

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