Village war memorial given prestigious listing

Rusper War Memorial
Rusper War Memorial

Rusper is among 68 war memorials across the South-East that have been listed over the summer as part of Historic England’s pledge to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018, marking the centenary of the First World War.

Rusper War Memorial was dedicated on August 21 1921, and is listed at Grade II.

Rusper War Memorial

Rusper War Memorial

It commemorates the 23 local servicemen who died in the First World War.

The granite memorial is within the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene Church (Grade I) facing towards the road.

It consists of an obelisk set upon a square plinth and the whole thing is set upon a three-stepped octagonal base.

The stone of the memorial is rough finished and the plinth bears a plain arched cartouche of polished stone on each of its faces.

These panels bear the incised inscriptions and names of the fallen.

The front face of the plinth has a raised carving of a wreath with a cross at its centre.

Below this is the inscription: IN / THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE / OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN / THE GREAT WAR / 1914 – 1919.

On another face of the plinth, following the list of names from the First World War, is inscribed 1939 – 1945 followed by the names of the fallen from the Second World War.

In 2013 the memorial was cleaned and conserved with a grant from War Memorials Trust.

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever, with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three-quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.