36 – The War Memorial

The War Memorial in 1920

As the First World War ended, it was decided in Butleigh that the wayside cross on Butleigh Hill should be made into a war memorial. It was restored to about twenty feet high and on the stem, a figure of St Leonard, the patron saint of Butleigh was placed and a figure of Christ on top of the cross. The restoration, designed by the well known architect W D Caroe, was carried out by John Merrick and the names of fifteen Butleigh men who had died in the First World War were carved on the memorial. All the funds were raised by subscription. The memorial was dedicated on the last Sunday of July 1919, by the Dean of Wells, the Very Reverend J A Robinson, assisted by the vicar of Butleigh, Reverend Roger St. John Gresley. At least 250 people attended the ceremony, including Mr and Mrs Robert Neville Grenville and a number of British serviceman. For the next fifty years, an annual anniversary service was held at the War Memorial. Enjoy the peace and admire the beautiful view stretching from Glastonbury Tor and the Mendip Hills in the north to King Alfred’s Tower at Stourhead on the eastern horizon and the spire of Kingweston church in the south.