Pride as Devizes war memorial is listed

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Jeff Matthews, Mayor Pete Smith and Bob Shergold at Devizes War Memorial              (PM907) By paul morris Jeff Matthews, Mayor Pete Smith and Bob Shergold at Devizes War Memorial (PM907) By paul morris

COUNCILLORS and the Royal British Legion are delighted that English Heritage has listed Devizes War Memorial.

The memorial, close to St John’s Church in Long Street, has been given a Grade-II listing for its historic and architectural interest and group value.

A report by Deborah Williams for English Heritage reads: “It is a poignant reminder of the impact of the First and Second World Wars on the community and commemorates its fallen servicemen.

“It is a good example of a war memorial by Francis William Troup, which displays interesting architectural detailing using good quality materials.

“It has visual group value with the neighbouring listed buildings and structures and makes a positive and important contribution to the local street scene.”

She said the memorial has a relatively unusual design.

Her report continues: “The monument with its surrounding cast iron railings, enclosing a small garden with fine flagstone paving, has survived well.

“Its decorative curved wall, adorned with bronze plaques inscribed with the names of the fallen, displays interesting architectural detailing in classical style and uses good quality materials.”

An appeal to fund the memorial was launched on May 2, 1919 and raised £3,660.

Marking the men of Devizes and Roundway who fell in the First World War, the memorial was dedicated and unveiled on November 13, 1922 by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Viscount Long.

Francis William Troup, born in Scotland, had his architectural practice in London from 1889 until his death in 1941.

He also designed a memorial in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

In 2010 the names of servicemen who died in the Second World War and in military action up to the present day were put on the war memorial.

It is maintained by Devizes town and Roundway parish councils.

Bob Shergold, past president of Devizes Royal British Legion, said: “I was surprised the war memorial wasn’t listed already, but it is marvellous it has been.

“Being listed will give it more protection. If anything goes wrong with it, it will have to be brought up to standard.”

Simon Fisher, deputy town clerk, said: “The war memorial has historic merit. It’s nice for it to be listed.”

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