Historic Ramsey church re-listed to link to Second World War and Allied victory in Japan

St Thomas a Becket Church, Ramsey, has been re-listed to link to Second World War. Picture: Patricia

St Thomas a Becket Church, Ramsey, has been re-listed to link to Second World War. Picture: Patricia Payne - Credit: Patricia Payne/English Heritage

A Grade I-listed church in Ramsey has been re-listed by Government officials to link the site to the Second World War and the allied forces victory in Japan.

The list description of St Thomas à Becket now includes mention of a Lady Chapel in the south aisle giving thanks for the safe return of Lord de Ramsey, a Second World War Prisoner of War in Japan, as well as a dedication and commemorative tablet added in 1956.

The description has been updated on the National Heritage List for England thanks to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The list affords special protection to the most important parts of England’s heritage.

The church was built in the late 12th century as a guest house or infirmary for Ramsey Abbey and converted to a church in the early 13th century.

Inside is a Lady Chapel giving thanks for the return of Lord De Ramsey from the Far East in 1945.

The Chapel and accompanying memorial plaque were added in 1956, five years after the church was originally listed.

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Lord De Ramsey fought in the Second World War as a captain in the Royal Artillery and was awarded the Territorial Decoration.

He was taken a Prisoner of War by Japan along with over 190,000 British and Commonwealth troops, almost a quarter of whom died in captivity.

The Grade I Church of St Peter and Paul in Fenland has also been re-listed to make special mention of a memorial to the men from the area who were killed in action or in captivity in the Far East.

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “It is a fitting tribute to all who served in the Far East that we are protecting and preserving sites so that future generations can learn about this important period of our history.”

In London, a Second World War memorial commemorating the role of the Chindit Special Forces, who served in Burma, was granted protection to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

The Chindits Memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens in London has been listed at Grade II.