A LEADING Evesham councillor has welcomed the decision to list two Vale war memorials as part of a project to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Coun John Smith spoke after Historic England, the public body that looks after England’s historic environment, added Sedgeberrow War Memorial and Hampton War Memorial to the National Heritage List for England.
Both have been granted Grade II status due to their special historic and architectural interest, as well as being focal points for the local community to remember the serviceman from both villages who lost their lives in the First World War.
Speaking to the Observer, Coun Smith dubbed Hampton’s Memorial the village’s own ‘cenotaph’.
“In 1914 Hampton was a village and the War Memorial holds the names of many Hampton men who went to war and never came home, making the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” he said.
“Men like Percy Enstone, Allan Grove and Alfred Boswell whose names appear on the memorial and now appear on street name plates on the new housing development in Hampton.
“The War Memorial is a simplistic reminder to every one of the sacrifices made and it is great news for Hampton that our memorial has been chosen as part of this project by Historic England,” he added.
The memorials are among eight from Worcestershire to have been included in the project which wre built by communities in the years following the conflict.
And 100 years on from the conflict, Historic England hope communities will once again come together to ensure the landmarks are in good condition.
Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England, 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.”
“Working with enthusiastic volunteers across the country, the programme is providing up to £2million 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,” he added.
Visit www.historicengland.org.uk/listingwarmemorials for more information on listing.