South Yorkshire war memorials protected to mark Somme centenary

The war memorial in Barker's Pool
The war memorial in Barker's Pool
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Two South Yorkshire war memorials have received greater protected status to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme during the First World War

The war memorials in Barker's Pool, Sheffield and Church Street, Barnsley, have both been upgraded to Grade II* listed status to given them greater protection.

They were chosen for the extra protection by Government heritage body Historic England.

The memorials mark the consequences of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916 and is considered to be one of the bloodiest in human history with well over a million dead or wounded by the time it ended in November that year.

The first day of the Somme was the worst in the history of the British Army, with almost 60,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing

First World War and Heritage Minister David Evennett said: "These memorials are a poignant reminder of those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago and an important part of our heritage.

"It is only right that they are protected to ensure that we continue to remember the sacrifices made during the First World War."

Roger Bowdler, of Historic England, said: "Important as it was for wearing down the enemy, the battle of the Somme demanded a terrible price in lives lost from across the land."

The listings come ahead of a ceremony marking the centenary of the Somme at Thiepval, France, and vigils around the UK later this week.