Leeds Rifles

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Reference WMO151041


Leeds Minster (Church of St Peter - Parish Church)





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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Attached to a building/structure
Description: Latin cross
  • Stone Portland stone
Lettering: Unknown
  • First World War (1914-1918)
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: A memorial cross built in to the boundary wall of the church. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled 13th November 1921. Boundary wall to church with entrance steps and piers, gateway, memorial to First and Second World War casualties and boundary stone. Walling and piers after 1841, East Bar stone possibly early C19 and reset, war memorial 1921. Wall Squared gritstone blocks laid to ashlar finish approx 110m long and 1m high, 2-4 courses, triangular coping with seatings for missing railing. NW gateway: the 2 gate piers have chamfered plinth, panelled sides, cornice with quatrefoil panels, 2-tier pyramidal caps. North entrance to church: wide shallow steps flanked by low wall as front, massive single-block piers with octagonal moulded caps. East Bar stone built into wall to east of war memorial; chamfered block with lettering: 'EAST BAR', the first word in Italic, both deeply-cut with strong serifs. Marks line of a gateway on the old town boundary. War memorial The Leeds Rifles (the Leeds Batalions, The Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment was the only regiment to choose a Lutyens War Cross as a memorial. The chosen site was the edge of the churchyard of St Peter Kirkgate, in the centre of Leeds. It was unveiled on 13 November 1921 by Captain G Sanders VC MC who fought with distinction for the regiment. Sir Edwin Lutyens OM RA (1869-1944) was the leading English architect of his generation. Before the First World War his reputation rested on his country houses and his work at New Delhi, but during and after the war he became the pre-eminent architect for war memorials in England, France and the British Empire. While the Cenotaph in Whitehall (London) had the most influence on other war memorials, the Thiepval Arch was the most influential on other forms of architecture. He designed the Stone of Remembrance which was placed in all Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries and in some cemeteries in England, including some with which he was not otherwise associated. The memorial is a relatively small War Cross of Portland stone, set in a break in the churchyard wall facing out to the street. The fall in levels accommodates a stone bench beneath the cross that doubles as a ledge for wreaths. Elaborate iron railings with arrow-head finials to bars flank the cross. c Historic England listing entry
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On the cross: 7TH AND 8TH BATTALIONS/ WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT/ THE PRINCE OF WALES’S OWN/ LEEDS RIFLES/ 45TH (LEEDS RIFLES) BATTALION/ ROYAL TANK REGIMENT/ 66TH (LEEDS RIFLES) HAA REGIMENT/ ROYAL ARTILLERY On the wall: TO/ THE MEN OF/THE LEEDS RIFLES/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ 1914-1918/ 1939-1945 Bronze regimental badges on cross: above the inscription: Leeds Rifles; below (L to R) Royal Artillery, Prince of Wales’s Own (Leeds Rifles), Royal Tank Regiment.

Grade II (England)


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