Dozens of Suffolk war memorials given Listed status in First World War centenary project
PUBLISHED: 17:38 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:38 09 May 2018
Nearly 50 war memorials across Suffolk have been given Grade II Listed status in the last four months as part of efforts to safeguard their future.
Since 2014 Historic England has embarked on a project to mark the Centenary of the First World War by recognising the proud memorials in towns and villages across the country.
The project had eyed around 2,500 memorials nationally to be given Listed status by the end of the four year project.
In the first four months of this year alone, nearly 50 Suffolk memorials have been given the status, which gives them legal protection from intrusive developments, as part of more than 150 across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to be protected in the last year.
Laura Patrickson, First World War memorial project manager at Historic England said: “At the beginning [of the project] there were more red phone boxes than war memorials that were listed.
“The goal was to add another 2,500 memorials to that.
“It’s because there is a threat to them, but in this case we all know our memorials are well looked after and it’s important to reach out to a part of English cultural heritage. Those lives taken shouldn’t be forgotten.”
Dozens of memorials were erected across Suffolk in recognition of those who served and died, with more than 70 having been honoured since the scheme began in 2014.
The final memorials will be given the Listed status by Armistice Day in November, but applications for memorials after that time which may be under threat will continue to be considered in the same way as any other building.
The scheme has also featured heritage school teams going into schools to work with youngsters, encouraging them to ‘adopt a name’ to help find out how the First World War links to their community.
Mrs Patrickson said: “Our heritage school teams have been working with primary schools looking at the names and encouraging people to research those people, and really connect with their past.
“There’s really good work coming out of that.
“We just pass [these memorials] without noticing and this is getting them to reach out and help them realise these were people just like us.”