Summertown War Memorial
List Entry Summary
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
Name: Summertown War Memorial
List entry Number: 1438950
Outside Summertown Church Hall, Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7EZ
The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District Type: District Authority
Parish: Non Civil Parish
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first listed: 31-Oct-2016
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
List entry Description
Summary of Building
First World War memorial, unveiled on 5 October 1921, with Second World War additions.
Reasons for Designation
Summertown War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: a simple yet elegant Latin cross with Sword of Sacrifice.
The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
One such memorial was raised at Summertown as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.
Alderman Francis Twining gave £500 to purchase the site that both the Summertown Church Hall and the cross are built upon. The memorial was built four years before the hall by Boulton and Paul Ltd of Norwich. It was unveiled on the 5 October 1921 by General Sir Arthur Phayre, KCB, and was dedicated by Bishop Edward Shaw, the Archdeacon of Oxford.
After the Second World War the dates 1939 - 1945 were added to the inscription on the eastern side of the memorial.
The memorial comprises a three-stepped octagonal base which is surmounted by an octagonal plinth with the inscription on the western side which reads: IN THE WAY/ OF RIGHTEOUSNESS/ IS LIFE/ AND IN/ THE PATHWAY/ THEREOF/ THERE IS NO DEATH (from Proverbs 12:28).
On the eastern side of the plinth the inscription reads: IN PROUD/ AND GRATEFUL/ REMEMBRANCE/ OF THE MEN OF/ SUMMERTOWN WHO/ NOBLY GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR KING/ AND COUNTRY AND/ RIGHTEOUSNESS/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ 1939 – 1945.
The plinth is surmounted by an octagonal tapering shaft and a Latin cross which bears a Sword of Sacrifice.
This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 23 November 2017.
Books and journals
Graham, M, Oxford in the Great War, (2014)
War Memorials Register, accessed 5 June 2016 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/32067
War Memorials Online, accessed 23 November 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/251072
‘Unveiling and Dedication of War Memorial’ Oxford Journal Illustrated, 5 October 1921, p.6
National Grid Reference: SP5074109328
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End of official listing