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Valued village war memorial is protected

Muston War Memorial
Muston War Memorial

A village war memorial has been listed as part of a pledge by Historic England to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018, marking the centenary of the First World War.

The memorial in the churchyard of St John the Baptist Church in Muston is one of several in Leicestershire to be protected by the heritage body.

Working with the War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museums, it aims to help communities discover, care for and conserve their war memorials.

Louise Brennan, planning director for Historic England in the East Midlands, said: “Over a million Britons lost their lives in the First World War. These new listings will help to ensure that their sacrifice is not forgotten.

“War memorials are a valued part of our heritage and it is important that we cherish and preserve them for future generations. I would encourage everyone to make sure their local memorial is in good condition. If it isn’t, then Historic England, War Memorials Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund have grants and advice available.”

Made of Ketton stone, the Grade II listed Muston war memorial was sculpted by William Silver Frith and dedicated by the Bishop of Leicester on September 20, 1919.

The front of the plinth reads: “Erected to the glory of God and in memory of those men connected with this parish who lost their lives in the war, 1914–1918.”

The other faces of the plinth are incised with the names of the 11 fallen servicemen followed by the dates of their death, while a later dedication for those killed in the Second World War reads ‘1939–1945’ and then their names.

Historic England is calling on members of the public to put forward war memorials they feel should be listed.

Working with enthusiastic volunteers across the country, the programme is providing up to £2 million in grants for war memorial repair and conservation and hundreds of workshops to teach people how to record their memorials and put them forward for listing.

Roger Bowdler, director of listing at Historic England, said: “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 Historic England 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.”

For more information, visit www.historicengland.org.uk/listingwarmemorials

For details on training visit www.civicvoice.org.uk/warmemorials and for grant information visit www.warmemorialstrust.org/grants

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