War Memorials Get Listing Status
Over the next few days many communities will be coming together at war memorials across the country to remember those that gave their lives in the service of their Country. There are no longer any servicemen alive who fought in the First World War and very few who have first-hand knowledge of the Great War. Today even the years of the Second World War are gradually slipping from living memory into history.

Many of the war memorials in cities, towns, villages and remarkably rural and isolated locations were erected in the 1920’s and like any historic house or period property they need constant care, maintenance and, increasingly, restoration. They also need protection from new traffic schemes and urban development.

Those that came back from both World Wars spoke little of their experience, preferring to remember their friends who fell in silence and put the trauma of war behind them. Some former servicemen, now in their 80’s and 90’s, have, in recent years, realised how important it is to tell future generations of the horror of war and in return it is our duty to learn from their accounts and remember the many who did not return.

Historic England have added their weight to the import act of remembrance and in 2014 they started listing war memorials so that they should have the same protection as a listed building. Their aim is to list 2,500 memorials across the country, not just the prominent ones like the Cenotaph by Lutyens in Whitehall. According to Historic England’s website so far over 1,700 have been listed and they hope to list another 500 memorials in the next 12 months. Their site also provides a guide to anyone wanting information on how to get a war memorial listed by going to www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/apply-for-listing.

Whether it an historic house, a Grade II listed cottage or war memorial on an isolated hillside they are all part of this country’s built and social heritage. Something we are able to appreciate today thanks to the sacrifice made by so many in two World Wars and more recent conflict.

Dawn Carritt
020 764 6646
8th November, 2016.