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Broad Blunsdon War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Blunsdon St Andrew, Swindon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6157 / 51°36'56"N

Longitude: -1.7771 / 1°46'37"W

OS Eastings: 415532

OS Northings: 190790

OS Grid: SU155907

Mapcode National: GBR 4TP.MJV

Mapcode Global: VHB37.4NW7

Entry Name: Broad Blunsdon War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 8 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1451039

Location: Blunsdon St. Andrew, Swindon, SN26

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Blunsdon St Andrew

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Summary

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

Description

The stone memorial stands in the main path through Broad Blunsdon's cemetery (the cemetery had been opened in 1889 following the closure of the churchyard of the nearby Church of St Leonard (Grade II*)).

The memorial comprises a Latin cross rising from the moulded collar of a tapering shaft, octagonal in section, which stands on a square plinth. The whole is mounted on a three-stepped base. The inscription and names are incised into the faces of the plinth, with leaded and painted lettering. The rank, name, battalion, date of death and age of each of the fallen are given.

The main inscription, on the north-west face of the plinth reads TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY OF THE MEN OF/ THIS VILLAGE, WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919 / (5 NAMES). The north-east- and south-west-facing sides of the plinth each record an additional eight names.

The south-east-facing side of the plinth features the later addition of the names of the fallen of the Second World War, reading 1939 - 1945 / (6 NAMES).

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 in the cemetery at Broad Blunsdon as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 21 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial had been erected by 1922, when the Ordnance Survey County Series 1:2500 map sheet for the area was revised.

The names of 6 parishioners who died during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Broad Blunsdon War Memorial, which stands in the cemetery, 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:

* a simple yet poignant stone memorial cross.

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