August 4th 2016 marked the centenary of the dedication of the very first memorial for World War One in London. The beautiful cross was created following the Battle of Jutland. It commemorates Lord Kitchener, the Secretary for War, the crewmen of HMS Hampshire lost during the conflict, and the Honourable Royal Artillery Company.
The memorial was dedicated on August 4th 1916 by the Lord Mayor of London and the Bishop of Stepney. It stands at the church of St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate in the City, a short distance from Liverpool Street Underground Station.
To mark the centenary of the placing of the memorial and the war itself the memorial was rededicated. A special service was held alongside this to commemorate the event. The Rt. Revd Adrian Newman, the current Bishop of Stepney oversaw this. Members of the Honourable Royal Artillery Company, the city, and the local community attended.
To further celebrate the long history of the memorial and those it commemorates Historic England recently decided to grant it Grade II Listed status. The cross was praised for its historical association and interest as well as its architectural from. In terms of the latter the fact that it is an elegant cross in the medieval style made it special.
The St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate memorial joins the long list of other war memorials that have been granted new or improved Listed status to preserve them. It is fitting that London’s very first piece to commemorate World War One be given the protection.
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