Protected status granted to village war memorial

The war memorial in Spaldwicj has been listed. Picture: GOOGLE

The war memorial in Spaldwicj has been listed. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

A war memorial described as an “eloquent witness” to the impact conflict has had on a Huntingdonshire village has been listed - as the centenary of the first two-minute silence is marked.

Spaldwick War Memorial was one of 42 First World War memorials from the region to win a Grade II-listed status to commemorate the sacrifice of those killed in the Great War.

Built in 1922, the memorial also features the names of villagers who died in the Second World War and the Korean War.

It was one of only three in Cambridgeshire to be listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Historic England said the reasons for the Spaldwick memorial being listed included its historic interest "as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the 20th century."

It said the memorial, which stands on The Green at the junction of Stow Road and High Street, was also of architectural interest as an "elegant and well executed" sandstone cross bearing a carved wreath and it also had a group value, standing with neighbouring listed buildings.

Spaldwick's memorial was designed by W E Ashley who was responsible for a number of memorials in the Huntingdon area, including the one at Great Stukeley.

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It was unveiled in 1922 and further names were added in memory of those who died in later conflicts.

Historic England said the memorial was built as part of the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever seen in the highly emotional period in the aftermath of the First World War.

Tens of thousands of memorials, like the one at Spaldwick, were put up across the country as communities came to terms with the loss of three-quarters of a million British lives, many of whom would have a final resting place somewhere in a foreign field since official policy ruled against repatriating the dead.

In Spaldwick the inscription on the memorial reads: "To the glory of God and in sacred memory of the men of this parish who fell in the Great War 1914-1918" and names the six men who gave their lives.

On the north face of the plinth the names of the two men killed in the Second World War are recorded and the east face commemorates the villager killed in Korea.