England

Memorials to war dead listed to mark Somme centenary

Barnsley War Memorial Image copyright Press Association
Image caption The memorial in Barnsley is one of 15 that has been given greater protected status

More than a dozen war memorials have received greater protected status to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Seven memorials have been given newly protected status and eight have had their protection upgraded, Historic England said.

The Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916 and is considered to be one of the bloodiest in human history.

On the first day alone, almost 60,000 soldiers were killed, hurt or missing.

When the battle ended in November 1916 about one million soldiers were dead or wounded, among them were 420,000 British casualties.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in history with 420,000 British casualties

Memorials to the Pals Battalions are among those to receive greater protected status.

Many recruits in the Pals Battalions did not see major action until the Somme, when they suffered heavy casualties, with towns, cities and even particular streets losing a large number of men.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption On the first day alone, almost 60,000 soldiers were dead, wounded or missing

There are also memorials for nurses, vets, and a young scout killed in the battle.

One memorial, a simple stone pillar on the North Yorkshire Moors, commemorates two young shepherds who were boyhood friends and signed up together in 1914.

David Evennett, heritage minister, said: "These memorials are a poignant reminder of those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago and an important part of our heritage."

Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Of the 720 Accrington Pals who went over the top, 584 were declared killed, wounded or missing in the attack

The new Grade II listed memorials are:

Bradford War Memorial, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Memorial to the Leeds Pals, Healey, West Yorkshire

Carlton Colville Scouts Memorial, Carlton Colville, Suffolk,

Commondale Shepherd's Memorial, Commondale, North Yorkshire,

1st Surrey Rifles, St Giles' Church, Camberwell, London

Green Howards Regimental Cross, Richmond, North Yorkshire

Penrith War Memorial at St Andrew's, Penrith, Cumbria

Upgraded to Grade II*

Accrington War Memorial, Oak Hill Park, Lancashire

Barnsley War Memorial, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Sheffield War Memorial, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

City and County of London Troops War Memorial, Royal Exchange, London

The Rifle Brigade War Memorial, Westminster, London

Lichfield War Memorial, Lichfield, Staffordshire

Upgraded to Grade I

Preston War Memorial, Preston, Lancashire

Recognised in the Church's list entry

War Memorial at All Saints (Garrison Church), Aldershot, Hampshire

Image copyright Getty Images

The Battle of the Somme

  • Began on 1 July 1916 and was fought along a 15-mile front near the River Somme in northern France
  • 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day - the bloodiest day in the history of the British army
  • The British captured just three square miles of territory on the first day
  • At the end of hostilities, five months later, the British had advanced just seven miles and failed to break the German defence
  • In total, there were over a million dead and wounded on all sides, including 420,000 British, about 200,000 from France and an estimated 465,000 from Germany

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