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HER Number:MDV63023
Name:War Memorial, Bere Ferrers Village Square


Granite wheel-headed cross commemmorating the fallen of the two World Wars.


Grid Reference:SX 459 634
Map Sheet:SX46SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBere Ferrers
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBERE FERRERS

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46SE/121

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAR MEMORIAL (XIX to World War II - 1899 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1890, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV344582.

Shown, but not marked.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Shown, but not marked.

Beddow, Rev. A. J. C., 1975, A History of Bere Ferrers Parish (Pamphlet). SDV325357.

Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T., 1998, Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal, 55-56 (Report - non-specific). SDV319814.

World War I and World War II granite war memorial in the village square, consisting of a wheel-headed cross on a tapered inscribed plinth. The stepped square base is set on a circular base circa 6 metres diameter.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

'War Meml' marked.

Brine, M. E., 2013, War Memorials, Photo (Website). SDV351333.

Historic England, 2017, Bere Ferrers War Memorial (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV360031.

Bere Ferrers War Memorial is being assessed for listing as part of Historic England's First World War Commemoration project.

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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Bere Ferrers as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

One such memorial was raised at Bere Ferrers as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was unveiled on 2 July 1921 by Sir Henry Lopes on the same day as the other memorial cross in the parish, at Bere Alston, was also unveiled. It commemorates 41 local servicemen who died in the First World War. Following the Second World War the names of 21 men who died in that conflict were added.

In 2001 the names of 10 New Zealand soldiers who died in a railway accident at Bere Ferrers railway station were added to the memorial. On 24 September 1917 the men had been en route to Salisbury Plain for training, having arrived in Britain at Plymouth dock. Their troop train made an unscheduled stop at Bere Ferrers to let an express train pass. Mistaking the stop for Exeter, where they had been instructed to collect food, the soldiers left the train and started to walk up the track. Nine soldiers were killed by the London Waterloo to Plymouth express train, and one died of his injuries in hospital. They were buried in Efford Cemetery, Plymouth.

The memorial stands above the road on Fore Street at the junction with the path leading to the Church of St Andrew (Grade I-listed). It takes the form of a tall granite wheel-head cross. The cross shaft rises from a tapering plinth, square on plan, which stands on a three-stepped base and high circular platform. The middle step supports a low metal railing that is designed to retain wreaths and floral tributes.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the plinth reads IN/ PROUD AND GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF THE GALLANT/ MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO/ MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1918./ (9 NAMES). The other names are recorded on the plinth sides. To the rear of the plinth, the dedication to the Second World War soldiers reads WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE WORLD WAR/ 1939-1945./IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM/ “GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN.”/ (21 NAMES).

To one side of the memorial a tablet, in the shape of a scrolled roll of honour, is inclined on the circular platform and abutting the lower step of the base. Its inscription reads IN MEMORY OF/ THE NEW ZEALAND SOLDIERS/ WHO WERE KILLED IN A TRAGIC/ACCIDENT AT BERE FERRERS STATION/ ON SEPTEMBER 24TH 1917/ (10 NAMES). All the inscriptions are in applied metal letters.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV319814Report - non-specific: Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T.. 1998. Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal. Exeter Archaeology Report. 98.60. A4 Stapled + Digital. 55-56.
SDV325357Pamphlet: Beddow, Rev. A. J. C.. 1975. A History of Bere Ferrers Parish. Unknown.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV344582Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1890. First Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #97196 ]
SDV351333Website: Brine, M. E.. 2013. War Memorials. http://www.devonheritage.org/WarMemorials.htm. Website. Photo.
SDV360031List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Historic England. 2017. Bere Ferrers War Memorial. Assess Building for Designation. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 20 2017 4:38PM