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North West war memorials receive protected status

Credit: Press Association

Two memorials in the North West which were erected during the First World War have been given protected status.

They are the Peace Cross at Burton in Wirral and a memorial in the churchyard at the parish church of St Chad at Over, Winsford in Cheshire in 1917.

The Peace Cross at Burton was not erected to commemorate fallen servicemen by name but as a plea for peace and a tribute to the sacrifices made by the village during the conflict.

Windsford Cross

Our local war memorials act as a permanent reminder of the lasting effects the First World War had on communities across the UK and the bravery of those who served.

"As we enter the final year of our centenary commemorations, it is important that we continue to remember the sacrifice made by those who never came home."

– Culture Secretary Karen Bradley

These memorials were an important indicator of society's attitude as the war progressed and as the loss of life increased to unprecedented levels.

"They were not just a focal point for people's grief but also seen as a symbol to those still fighting."

Contemporary newspaper reports indicate people wanted to erect war shrines from 1916, but they were controversial as some saw them as anti-patriotic.

The early shrines became a precursor to the national movement following the war to memorialise those who fought and died.

The eight newly listed memorials are:

– Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England

A series of war memorials erected a century ago, before the end of the First World War, have been given protected status.

The memorials built by communities in 1917 range from a grave marker for children killed in a classroom during an air raid to a peace cross erected as a plea for peace and a tribute to the sacrifices made by the village where it stands.

Eight memorials reaching their century this year have been given Grade II listed status by the Government on the advice of heritage agency Historic England as the UK marks Armistice Day.

And an obelisk marking the site of a hospital for Indian troops has had its Grade II listing updated to fully reflect its historical importance.

Although most First World War memorials were not constructed until the end of the conflict, some were built before the fighting finished, providing a "focal point" to people's grief and a symbol to those still fighting, Historic England said.