Village war memorials listed to ensure their future protection
TWO Teesdale war memorials have been listed to help protect them for future generations.
Butterknowle and Cockfield memorials were granted Grade II listed status by Historic England alongside 17 others in County Durham.
The gesture comes 100 years after hostilities reached their height in the Great War.
Evenwood’s Kevin Richardson has spent more than ten years uncovering the stories of fallen men from the Gaunless Valley.
He welcomed the listing and hoped to see more memorials in the area undergo the same process.
Mr Richardson said: “Generally speaking it seems a reasonable measure but I do think if we are going to have them listed we should do the same with all of them.
“It is nice to see people who sacrificed their lives have been honoured in some way and getting war memorials listed is a good thing.
“It will protect them for the future and puts the onus on bodies like parish councils to make sure these people are not forgotten and memorials are kept in perpetuity.”
Cockfield War Memorial commemorates 45 men who died from the village while Butterknowle’s obelisk pays tribute to 33 villagers lost in both world wars.
Volunteers at the North East War Memorials Project submitted the listing applications and Historic England has pledged to list 2,500 war memorials over the course of the First World War centenary.
Carol Pyrah, from Historic England, said: “More than a million Britons lost their lives in the First World War.
“It’s important that their sacrifice is not forgotten and that the lessons learnt during that time are as resonant now as they were then.”
Historic England and the War Memorials Trust will also offer grants and advice to the public to help get their memorials listed and repaired. A spokesman for Historic England urged members of the public to put their war memorials forward for listing.