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City war memorials given listed status

Published on Monday, July 11, 2016

FOUR community war memorials in Leicester have been granted listed status as part of a national scheme to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The four memorials –in Aylestone Village, Evington Village, at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College and at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on University Road – have been granted Grade II-listed status by Historic England.

It is part of national project to grant hundreds of war memorials listed status and grant them new protections.

The Evington War Memorial, at the junction of Main Street and Church Road, was dedicated in 1920 to commemorate the men of Evington who gave their lives during the First World War. A second dedication was added after 1945, to commemorate those who died during the Second World War.

The Aylestone War Memorial was designed by sculptor Joseph Herbert Morcom and first dedicated in 1921. The tall memorial cross stands in St Andrew’s churchyard, Old Church Street, and commemorates 46 local men who died in the First World War and a further 32 during the Second World War.

The First World War memorial at Wyggeston Queen Elizabeth I College was designed Col J C Baines, a former pupil of Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys (as the college was then known) who commanded a battalion of the Leicester Regiment in the great War.

It was dedicated in 1922, with additional memorial gates and gate piers added in 1950 in memory of those who lost their lives in the Second World War.

The memorial that stands in The Seventh Day Adventist Church on University Road was dedicated in 1920 and commemorates the local men who died in the First World War.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “These memorials provide powerful testament to the tragic impact on local communities of the First and Second World Wars.

“As we join in the commemorations marking the centenary of The Great War, it is fitting that war memorials in Leicester, and across the UK, are afforded extra protections. They should serve as poignant reminders for many generations to come.”

The four community memorials now join Leicester’s Arch of Remembrance on the National Heritage List for England.

The monument, which stands on Victoria Park, is one of seven Grade I-listed war memorials designed by Edwin Lutyens in the country, including the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Historic England last year revised it listing to describe Leicester’s Arch of Remembrance as: ‘the most imposing of Lutyens’ English war memorials… an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the 20th century.’

Buildings and structures given listed status are considered to have exceptional architectural or historic interest. It gives them greater protection in the planning system, and means developers must apply for listed building consent before any changes are made to the memorial or surrounding area.