First World War memorials around Cheshire and beyond have had their future assured thanks to students at the University of Chester.
Memorials in Bickerton, Christleton, Helsby, Weaverham and Farndon are amongst those that have received listed status thanks to a group of history undergraduates working in partnership with the charity Civic Voice.
The project was led by Dr Tim Grady, Reader in Modern History, at the university
Tim explained: “The war memorials project was part of the centenary commemorations of the First World War and we ran it in partnership with Civic Voice, which has been awarded government funding to help preserve the thousands of memorials across the country. Very few of these memorial sites are currently listed on the National Heritage List for England, which records the most significant buildings, monuments and sites in the country.
Civic Voice is aiming to reverse these oversights by achieving Grade II listing status for many of these war memorials. This will help to protect and to preserve these important sites of memory for future generations.”
He added: “Over a six week period, the students learnt about the history of war memorials and were introduced to the complexities of producing a listing for Historic England. With these skills in place, they were then in a position to research the history of four memorials that they could then submit to Historic England for consideration. The sites students explored stretched across Cheshire and, in some cases, further afield into the Midlands. Researching the memorials took a great deal of effort on behalf of the students, who had to use archives, historic newspapers and even conduct interviews with local councillors. The results, however, have been fantastic. Already 20 memorials have been formally listed by Historic England and more remain under consideration.”
So far, the students who have succeeded in achieving listed status for memorials are: Jessica Brown, who has three listings in Bickerton, Christleton and Farndon, Chester; Chloe Radcliffe, who has secured four listings in Dukinfield, Godley Hill-Hyde, Newton-Hyde, and Runcorn; OIivia Lucas, who has also achieved four listings for Portobello in Wolverhampton; Wombourne and Trysull in Staffordshire and Madeley in Shropshire; Leah Gray, for Bloxham, Summertown and Kiddlington in Oxfordshire; Emma Kendall also has three listings in Broseley, Edgmond and Newport (all in Shropshire); Daniel Perkin has had two memorials listed - Helsby-Vale Royal and Weaverham (Cheshire); and Nia Jones has succeeded in achieving listed status for the monument in Weston Rhyn, Shropshire.
Dr Grady added: “Working on this project has been particularly rewarding for all involved. Not only have our students had the opportunity to apply their historical skills to a research of national importance, but they have also discovered far more about the individuals who fought and died in the First World War.”