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Historic England/PA Wire
UK News

New protection for church Somme memorials

The 1st Surrey Rifles memorial at St Giles' Church in Camberwell (pictured above), London has been granted Grade II-listed status and the War Memorial at All Saints Garrison Church in Aldershot, Hampshire is being recognised in the Church's list entry for the first time.

Anna Wilson/Historic England/PA Wire

The memorials which have had their protected status upgraded are:

  1. Accrington War Memorial, Oak Hill Park (upgraded to Grade II*)
  2. Barnsley War Memorial, Church Street (upgraded to Grade II*)
  3. Sheffield War Memorial, Barker's Pool (upgraded to Grade II*)
  4. Preston War Memorial, Market Place (upgraded to Grade I)
  5. City and County of London Troops War Memorial (upgraded to Grade II*)
  6. The Rifle Brigade War Memorial, Westminster (upgraded to Grade II*)
  7. Lichfield War Memorial, Bird Street (upgraded to Grade II*)
  8. War Memorial at All Saints (Garrison Church), Aldershot (recognised in the Church's list entry.)

 Speaking with Premier about the wooden Somme cross memorial at All Saints Garrison Church in Aldershot (pictured above), chaplain Revd Steve Franklin said: "It was a cross that was made out of the bolts of timber taken from an old church that had been destoryed and was set up as a memorial...

"Many people find it really quite moving to be able to actually touch something that was put up about a hundred years ago by soldiers whose loss was still very fresh in their memories."

They are among 15 memorials across the UK being given greater protection, according to the government's heritage body Historic England, in a move which coincides with the centenary of the start of Battle of the Somme this Friday.

The World War One battle is thought to be one of the bloodiest ever fought, with more than one-million people dead or wounded by the time it ended in November 1916.

The first day of the Battle of Somme was the worst day of fighting in the British Army's history, with nearly 60,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing.

First World War and Heritage Minister David Evennett said: "These memorials are a poignant reminder of those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago and an important part of our heritage.

"It is only right that they are protected to ensure that we continue to remember the sacrifices made during the First World War."

Roger Bowdler of Historic England added: "Important as it was for wearing down the enemy, the battle of the Somme demanded a terrible price in lives lost from across the land.

"Alongside the Thiepval Arch on the battlefield, newly listed and upgraded memorials remind us of how communities at home paid tribute to those they had lost."

The newly listed memorials are Bradford War Memorial, Prince's Way (Grade II listed), Memorial to the Leeds Pals, Colsterdale, (Grade II listed), Carlton Colville Scouts Memorial, Carlton Colville, (Grade II listed), Commondale Shepherd's Memorial, Commondale, (Grade II listed), 1st Surrey Rifles, St Giles' Church, Camberwell, (Grade II listed), Green Howards Regimental Cross, Richmond, (Grade II listed) and Penrith War Memorial at St Andrew's, Penrith, (Grade II listed).

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