132 war memorials given listed status ahead of Armistice Day

More than 100 war memorials across England have been given listed status ahead of Armistice Day.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport added 132 memorials to the National Heritage List on the advice of Historic England.

Among them are the Leighton Buzzard memorial which is understood to have been formed from the largest single undressed granite block ever quarried in the UK, and the Old Basing war memorial in Basingstoke, which commemorates 25 local men.

Also given Grade II status are the East Cowes Air Raid Protection memorial on the Isle of Wight, the Bridley Manor war memorial, near Worplesdon, Guildford, and the Machine Gun Corps war memorial in Folkestone.

The Leighton Buzzard memorial is among the newly listed monuments (War Memorials Trust/PA)

The memorials were built in the aftermath of the First World War and are among tens of thousands that were erected across England honouring the people who lost their lives in the conflict.

In 2014, Historic England committed to listing 2,500 war memorials by the end of 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, and surpassed the target.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “Our war memorials across the country remind us of the huge sacrifices made by generations in the conflicts of the last century, and provide communities with a focal point to express their gratitude and loss.

“We are proud to continue our work in recognising and protecting these important public monuments so future generations can continue to honour and remember the fallen.”

Heritage minister Nigel Huddleston said: “I am very pleased that this year, as we mark the centenary of the Cenotaph itself, we have protected 132 memorials so that future generations can learn about those who gave so much to our country.”

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the public have been asked to mark Armistice Day at home this year and not to visit the sites.

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