HARTFORD War Memorial has been successfully recognised as a Grade II listed site.

The memorial, which is based in St John the Baptist church yard, was submitted to Historic England in 2016 by Phil Herbert, chairman of Hartford Parish Council.

Cllr Herbert is the council’s ‘Heritage Champion’, and is tasked with ensuring all of the town’s heritage sites are protected.

The War Memorial in Hartford has been a mainstay in the village since 1920.

Cllr Herbert said: “It was originally installed for the First World War. It was done by public subscriptions, raising funds through public donations. In a way it belongs to the people of Hartford.

“Historic England want to get these things listed. War memorials can get moved around. If there aren’t any surviving relatives in the area these things can get forgotten.”

While the War memorial is not at risk, Cllr Herbert said the application was a sort of ‘insurance policy’ against any future developments.

He said having it recognised as a Grade II listed building underlines the recognition the residents of Hartford give to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars.

“It is not under any threat but it is handy to have these things listed because they are conservation areas,” he said.

“If any applications came in Hartford Council cold say, ‘well we have a Grade II listed monument.”

Hartford War Memorial is among hundreds to be listed over the last year through Historic England’s pledge to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018, marking the centenary of the First World War.

A Historic England spokesman said: “Over a million Britons lost their lives in the First World War.

"It’s important that their sacrifice is not forgotten – and that the lessons learnt during that time are as resonant now as they were then.

“The centenary programme aims to bring us together more closely as a nation to honour the lives and bravery of all those who served.

“War memorials are a valued part of our heritage and it is absolutely fitting that we cherish and preserve them for future generations.”