Bawtry War Memorial, South Yorkshire, has been increasingly difficult to visit due to its original position on the very busy A638. Because of this, in 2018, the council decided to move the structure to Bawtry library to facilitate more accessible and safer public access to this important structure.
Moving the cenotaph was deemed a necessary expense by the council, but it was an expensive decision. The cost of re-siting this treasured structure was in part helped by the voluntary contribution of local businesses. First Impressions Yorkshire donated a resin-bound surface to the pathways and area of the monument—facilitating easy access for the local community, especially disabled or wheelchair users. The lovely springtime colour of the surface compliments the site, which is in an open area surrounded by bushes and trees. Resin-bound surfaces reduce noise and as such assist in creating a tranquil and relaxing space for those who come to pay their respects.
Historical Touchstones Of Remembrance
Like war memorials throughout Britain that commemorate those affected by war, they are a link from the past to the present that continues to provide information to present society. Bawtry War Memorial is an important reminder in understanding the sacrifices made by those they commemorate. These are the people who, by their sacrifice, allow us to live the lives we have.
Most war memorials are erected by the community associated with those they are remembering. The Bawtry Memorial is a cenotaph erected by the Peake family in memory of their son.
The Importance Of Bawtry Memorial
The Bawtry with Austerfield War Memorial was erected to honour the local men and women lost in the 1st World War (1914-1918) and the 2nd Second World War (1939-1945). The war memorial was initially erected on the grounds of Peake Hall, commissioned to commemorate the men from the parish of Bawtry, Austerfield and Misson. Later three more local men were added who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The Bawtry Memorial is made from limestone. It is designed as a small cross, atop a long column sitting on a square plinth. This, in turn, is standing on an octagonal stone base that carries the inscription, “Whosoever Loseth His Life For My Sake Shall Save it”. The four sides of the plinth are engraved with the names of the 36 men lost in WW1 and the three in WW2.
The memorial was erected pre-1929. The designer is unknown. It has suffered the consequences of time in that In 2000 the top of the memorial was blown off. Due to its importance to the area, it was repaired in 2002 and the lettering re-engraved. In 2003 the memorial was rededicated.
We Shall Never Forget
War memorials like Bawtry are unique to their communities in several ways. For us, at First Impressions Yorkshire, it has been a pleasure to play our part in helping maintain a piece of our historical, architectural and artistic heritage. The Bawtry War Memorial is a Grade 11 listed structure due to its “Historic interest as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community….” The new site will make it easier for school children to visit and learn about their history and its costs. Families will also have a tranquil place to remember those they have lost, especially on Remembrance Sunday.