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Great Somerford War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Great Somerford, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5454 / 51°32'43"N

Longitude: -2.0547 / 2°3'16"W

OS Eastings: 396306

OS Northings: 182941

OS Grid: ST963829

Mapcode National: GBR 2RM.3C9

Mapcode Global: VHB3G.BFN5

Entry Name: Great Somerford War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 2 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1451048

Location: Great Somerford, Wiltshire, SN15

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Great Somerford

Built-Up Area: Great Somerford

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Summary

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

Description

The memorial stands on small grassed area at the junction of Top Street, Hollow Street and Park Lane. It is overlooked by The Close and The Old Maltings (both Grade II-listed).

The stone memorial is about 4.2m high and comprises a small floriated Latin cross rising from the collar of a tall octagonal shaft. The shaft is set on a small plinth, square on plan, and two-stepped base. The whole stands on a square slab set flush with the ground and surrounded by a lawn. The grassed area is encircled by low bollards carrying chains.

The main inscription is on the east-facing side of the plinth, where applied metal lettering reads OUR GLORIOUS DEAD/ (13 NAMES)/ 1914 – 1918. On the west-facing side of the plinth an additional inscription reads IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION/ ALSO OF/ ALL FROM OUR VILLAGE/ WHO SERVED IN THE GREAT WAR.

The names of the fallen of the Second World War have subsequently been added to the south-facing side of the plinth in an inscription that reads 1939 – 1945/ (5 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 erected at Great Somerford as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 13 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. Fundraising for the cross was complete by July 1919 and it was in place by the time of the Armistice anniversary in 1921. As well as those who died, the memorial commemorates all the villagers who served in the First World War. The names of five men who died during the Second World War were subsequently added.

Reasons for Listing

Great Somerford War Memorial Cross, which stands at the junction of Top Street, Hollow Street and Park Lane, 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 well-executed example of a slender stone memorial cross.

Group value:

* with The Close (Grade II) and The Old Maltings (Grade II).

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