Tis the season for commemorating the First World War, whose opening salvos were fired 100 years ago. The latest development sees English Heritage secure greater protection for some of London’s most famous memorials.
- The Edith Cavell Memorial, St Martin’s Place — upgraded from Grade II to Grade I
- Royal Artillery Memorial, Hyde Park Corner — upgraded from Grade II* to Grade I
- Machine Gun Corps Memorial, Hyde Park Corner — upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*
- Statue of the Field Marshall Earl Haig, Whitehall — upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*
- Belgian Monument to the British Nation, Victoria Embankment — upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*
- The Cenotaph, Whitehall — list entry enhanced (already one of the few Grade I listed memorials)
None of the above are ever likely to feel the sting of the wrecking ball, whatever their listed status, but the same might not be true of the thousands of smaller war memorials dotted around the capital and the wider country. Fewer than 10% have the protection of listed status. English Heritage, working with the War Memorials Trust, has pledged to list up to 500 war memorials per year from 2014-2018 and double the number on the National Heritage List for England over the next five years.
To mark this initiative, a new exhibition of First World War memorials opens today inside one of London’s largest monuments — the Wellington Arch. We Will Remember Them focuses particularly on the six London monuments cared for by English Heritage, and includes drawings, maquettes and photographs of each one.
We Will Remember Them: London’s Great War Memorials is at The Wellington Arch, London W1J 7JZ until 30 November 2014. Entrance is £4.20 (adult), £3.80 (concession), £2.50 (child).