More than half of Nottinghamshire’s war memorials now have protected ‘listed’ status after a campaign to keep them safe from development.
Of the 137 free-standing memorials in the city and county, 72 are now listed after local councils started working together six years ago.
Conservation officers decided to act after veterans and campaigners noticed some memorials were deteriorating or faced being impacted by new development.
Thousands of people will flock to war memorials throughout Notts to show their respect for the sacrifices of our armed forces over the next few days.
In Bassetlaw, all of the district’s memorials are now listed, after a successful application by conservation officers at Bassetlaw District Council.
Two memorials in Ashfield – Jacksdale and Sutton New Cross – are among those to most-recently gain listed designation.
And decisions are pending from Historic England over another ten memorials in Broxtowe and Gedling, after applications by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The memorial in Jacksdale was first unveiled in 1921 and lists the names of 48 local men killed during First World War.
It was originally topped by a marble figure of a soldier, which was damaged beyond repair during a storm in 1959, but was replaced by a new Portland Stone carving following restoration work funded by the county council. It was listed in May this year.
The memorial includes the name of Robert Archer, who settled in Jacksdale with his wife and two sons, who was sent to fight in France nine days before his birthday and died four months later. His wife Margaret later took her own life.
Jason Mordan, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Senior Practitioner in Historic Buildings, said: “The 2016 Remembrance Day is especially poignant, marking the centenary of some of the most significant and tragic events of the First World War.
“Our memorials are a focal point for communities to remember and honour the sacrifices made by all those that have lost their lives in all conflicts.
“We’ve lost inscriptions on memorials in some cases, which is obviously really important because the names are critical, so we’re having to go round and look at them all really carefully to make sure we keep them in a good state of repair for the next 100 years.”
Colin Dutton, vice-chairman of Pye Hill Male Voice Choir is among locals who regularly pay their respects at the restored Jacksdale memorial.
He said: “I always come along with a bouquet of roses or other flowers to commemorate the old soldiers of Pye Hill Male Voice.
“I just stand for two minutes or three minutes, and I remember them all.”
Number of current listed war memorials in Nottinghamshire, by district:
Ashfield – 8
Bassetlaw – 10
Browtowe – 6
Gedling – 3
Mansfield – 6
Newark & Sherwood – 10
Nottingham City – 20
Rushcliffe – 9
Listed status gives the memorials added protections in the future, including from developments that may impact upon them and their setting.
The war memorial at Sutton New Cross was unveiled in August 1921 and was originally located outside the Church of St Michael and All Angels on Outram Street before being moved, stone-by-stone to a more suitable site nearby and restored in 2010. It was granted listed status in July this year.
Hilary Silvester of Nottingham Civic Society added: “I think a lot of people are becoming more aware, particularly with the world the way it is that we have to pay a lot of attention and respect to armed forces in this way.”