‘Elegant’ war memorial gains special status

HOR 111111 Armistice Day service, Carfax, Horsham. photo by derek martin ENGSNL00120111111163825
HOR 111111 Armistice Day service, Carfax, Horsham. photo by derek martin ENGSNL00120111111163825

The Carfax War Memorial in Horsham has been listed at Grade II as part of an English Heritage scheme to list up to 500 war memorials a year over the next five years to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The English Heritage scheme has the backing of Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, who leads for the Government on First World War commemorations.

The war memorial was designed by local architect Claude Kay and unveiled by Major General Young, Colonel of the Royal Sussex regiment, in 1921.

Originally listing the names of 359 local men and boys who lost their lives during the First World War, a further 60 names were added in 2010, whilst those who fell in the Second World War had been added in the early 1990s.

This followed the relocation of the memorial in 1991 to its presnt site in the Carfax.

The memorial was resited as part of town centre redevelopment and pedestrianisation of much of the Carfax.

Eleanor Wilkinson, at English Heritage, said: “Occupying a prominent position within Horsham town centre and conservation area, the war memorial is a simple yet elegant and well-proportioned stone obelisk.

“It has a runic design open cross at the top, and a bronze Crusader’s sword superimposed to the front. The result is a handsome memorial and an important testament to the fallen of Horsham and the effects of war on the local community.’’

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Over a million Britons lost their lives in the First World War. It’s important that their sacrifice is not forgotten – and that the lessons learnt during that time are as resonant now as they were then. The centenary programme aims to bring us together more closely as a nation to honour the lives and bravery of all those who served.

“War memorials are a valued part of our heritage and it is absolutely fitting that we cherish and preserve them for future generations.”

Roger Bowdler, Designation Director at English Heritage, 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 English Heritage 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.”

War Memorials Trust is working in partnership with English Heritage to encourage applications to list war memorials and wants people to report war memorials in poor condition so that it can help get these memorials repaired. For details on getting a memorial listed or repaired – or both, look at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/caring/listing/listed-buildings/listing-war-memorials/

Mr Javid added: “Whether we have relatives whose names are on local memorials, or who fought alongside those who died, we all have a connection with remembrance. I would urge everyone to make sure their local memorial is in good condition. If it isn’t, then English Heritage, War Memorials Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund all have grants and advice available.’’