Staplecross War Memorial listed for protection

Staplecross War Memorial. Photo © Google SUS-160308-165734001Staplecross War Memorial. Photo © Google SUS-160308-165734001
Staplecross War Memorial. Photo © Google SUS-160308-165734001

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Staplecross War Memorial is among hundreds to be listed over the last year in a bid to protect the historic monument.

To mark the centenary of World War One, Historic England has pledged to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018 by making them listed.

The Staplecross War Memorial was unveiled in 1921 and commemorated the 21 villagers who died in the First World War, with a further nine names added after World War Two.

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The war memorial, at the junction of Forge Lane and Northiam Road, is listed at Grade II for its historic and architectural interest as well as the number of surrounding Grade II-listed buildings including The Cross Inn.

The carved lion on top of the memorial is well executed and striking, a Historic England spokesman said.

A meeting of the Ewhurst Post of the Comrades of the Great War in Staplecross, held in April, 1919, decided memorials should be erected in both Ewhurst and Staplecross.

In Staplecross, the land on which to erect a memorial was donated by JJ Crouch, the form of the memorial, which was carved by Alfred Thornton, a monumental mason from Hailsham, being suggested by a villager.

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It was unveiled on May 15, 1921, by Lt Col Corrie DSO with Bishop Gregory in attendance.

Historic England’s listing director Roger Bowdler said: “Researching, recording and recommending up to 2,500 more war memorials for listing over the next five years is a major task but one that Historic England is proud to undertake.

“These memorials will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country’s sacrifice and struggle.”

One hundred years on, Historic England believes it is time to come together again to ensure the memorials are in good condition, and properly recognised by listing where appropriate.

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To do this it needs members of the public to put their war memorials forward for listing.

This is part of a wider partnership with War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museums to help communities discover, care for and conserve their war memorials.

Working with volunteers across the UK, the programme is providing up to £2m in grants for war memorial repair and conservation and hundreds of workshops to teach people how to record their memorials and put them forward for listing.

Historic England’s goal is to make sure as many war memorials as possible are in a fitting condition for the centenary, and they remain cherished landmarks for generations to come.

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