English Heritage is to grant hundreds of war memorials listed status ahead of the centerary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Hundreds more war memorials are to be listed ahead of the centenary of the First World War – granting them new protections.
The government announced on Saturday that one of the country’s biggest memorials, the Liverpool Cenotaph, was to be Grade I listed, making it one of only three war memorials in the country to have the status.
English Heritage also intends to list a further 2,500 memorials over the next five years and is inviting members of the public to nominate their local monument.
The announcement is a boost to the Sunday Telegraph’s war memorial campaign, launched amid growing concern over the state of the nation’s monuments, many of which have fallen victim to neglect, vandals and thieves, who target metal plaques for their scrap value. Others have been lost and damaged when churches and chapels are demolished.
Buildings and structures given listed status are considered to have exceptional architectural or historic special interest.
It gives them greater protection in the planning system, and means developers must apply for listed building consent before any changes are made to the memorial or surrounding area.
It is thought that only around 130 of the nation’s estimated 100,000 war memorials are currently listed.
The Liverpool Cenotaph, unveiled in 1930, was designed by Lionel Budden, the architect. It features a bronze panel depicting an army marching and is horizontal to fit the backdrop of St George’s Hall in the city.
Roger Bowdler, designation director at English Heritage, said: “The Liverpool Cenotaph is a remarkable monument, combining the highest quality of design and artistry with a dignified and painfully poignant memorial to the losses suffered by the people of Liverpool. It fully deserves this designation at the highest grade.
“Researching, recording and recommending up to 2,500 more war memorials for listing over the next five years is a major task but one that English Heritage is proud to undertake. These memorials will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country’s sacrifice and struggle.”
The Sunday Telegraph campaign, called Lest We Forget, has already been backed by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and senior military figures.
It has also secured progress on calls for the prosecution of anyone caught damaging a war memorial, stiffer sentences for those convicted and tighter laws on scrap metal-dealing to deter theft.
* If you know of a war memorial which is in need of repair, please let us know by emailing email@example.com or writing to Lest We Forget Campaign, The Sunday Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0DT
See on www.telegraph.co.uk