More than 11,000 Devon men and women died in the Great War and some two thousand memorials were created to honour their service and sacrifice. A network of these individually unique monuments were placed in the landscape to remind future generations of their struggle to win the First World War. Many survive but today lie unnoticed. Crosses, obelisks, parks, village halls, stained glass and other church embellishments were created as each city, town and village in Devon sought to find their own way to commemorate the war and those who helped win it. Two generations later the story of how this was achieved – with great discussion, sometimes cooperation and occasionally great controversy - is now finally told.
Publisher: The Mint Press (published 18.10.10). Price £12.99. Paperback. 248 pages. 137 black and white illustrations and photographs. 20 Colour photographs of stained glass images. ISBN 978-1903356562.
See the Stevens Books page for ordering and further information. The description there comments further that the work involved Dr Gray visiting nearly all of Devon’s ancient parishes. Chapters include: the public appetite for memorials; creating the memorials; the choice of memorial; beneficial memorials; the controversy over some of the memorials; and the messages on the memorials.
The associated news coverage is worth browsing as a taster of the topics. For instance, the Plymouth Herald piece, Don't forget county's war memorials, says historian, mentions rivalries between Devon County Council and Exeter City Council, and between Devonport and Plymouth, in erecting memorials; and controversies whether memorials should be religious, representational, or non-denominational obelisks (in Teignmouth, an obelisk was controversial, being considered "pagan").
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