Lelant war memorial

© Maxwell Adams 2006

Version 8 October 2020

The war memorial is at the Cross, the crossroads where the road to St Ives meets Church Road and Station Hill. It was built after World War I and has on it the names of those Lelanters who died in that war and in World War II. The memorial has a large granite plinth and on that a stone cross that was already in place at the site: cross G in The stones of Lelant. There was a well here too.

A village war memorial committee was set up after World War I to organise the building and erecting of the memorial. Francis G WOOD, head of Penzance Art School 1916-1920, drew up a design for the memorial and this was approved by the committee in March 1920 [St Ives Times 26 March 1920, page 7c].Villagers raised money for the memorial: for example a hare coursing event at Trevethoe gave ten guineas to the memorial fund and the Lelant Cottage Garden annual show for 1920 gave its proceeds [St Ives Times 11 June 1920, page 7c].

The memorial was unveiled on Saturday afternoon 14 May 1921 by lieutenant colonel EHW BOLITHO. This was reported in the local newspapers but they give no details of the memorial designer and builder and the fund-raising for it.

A committee of trustees was set up to look after the memorial. A letter from TR GRYLLS of 24 February 1926 to the clerk of Lelant parish council says:

"As arranged I have today seen the deed of conveyance which is deposited at Barclays Bank St Ives, and I find that the Trustees are - Mr RWG Tyringham, The Chairman of Lelant Parish Council for the time being, and The Vicar of Lelant for the time being.

Should Mr Tyringham retire he has the right during his lifetime to appoint another Trustee. After his death this appointment is vested in the Vicar of Lelant for the time being.

The Trustees have absolute control and have the regulation, management, repair, and care of the Memorial" (letter glued into Lelant Parish council minute book, CRO B/St Ives/13).

There is an near-identical war memorial at Crewkerne, Somerset built after the Lelant one had been seen by E Blake from Crewkerne in September 1921. The only difference is that the Crewkerne memorial is topped by the figure of a soldier, the Lelant one by a wheel-headed cross. The Crewkerne information names the mason responsible for the Lelant memorial as Mr THOMAS of Lelant [Crewkerne information from Martin PAKES, June 2006].

The war memorial is at the site of a well which used to supply water to the villagers. It was finally closed in 1896 after the water was found to be unsafe [CRO DC/WPRDC/195, pages 76, 96, 112, 149, and 164].

Men of Lelant parish who served in World War I and survived

Lelanters who died in World War II

The lions of Lelant