THE WAR Memorials in the Garden of Remembrance in Stratford’s Old Town been given historic protected status.
There are among hundreds to be listed following Historic England’s pledge to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018, the centenary of the First World War.
Stratford’s First World War Memorial was unveiled in 1922 in Bridge Street but a decade later had been relocated to Bancroft Gardens, before being moved again to the Garden of Remembrance when it opened opened in 1954. It has the names of the 235 men who lost their lives during the Great War.
The Second World War Memorial includes 100 names and features the so-called St Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V – ‘From this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shalt be remembered: we few, we happy few, we band of brothers’.
The memorials were built by the Stratford community and almost 100 years on from the end of the First World War, Historic England is appealing for the same community to come together and ensure they are in good condition.
Historic England’s planning director Veryan Heal said: “The centenary programme aims to bring us together more closely as a nation to honour the lives and bravery of all those who served.
“Over a million Britons lost their lives in the 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.
“War memorials are a valued part of our heritage and it is absolutely fitting that we cherish and preserve them for future generations.”
“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 Historic England, War Memorials Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund all have grants and advice available.”
Visit www.historicengland.org.uk/whats-new/listing/war-memorials-listing-project/ for further information.