York's Leeman Road District First World War Memorial Listed

The Leeman Road District war memorial in Salisbury Rd, York has been listed at Grade II as part of an English Heritage scheme to list up to 500 war memorials a year over the next five years to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The English Heritage scheme has the backing of Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller, who leads for the Government on First World War commemorations. She announced the listing yesterday, 6 March, while speaking at an event at the Imperial War Museum to mark International Women's Day 2014 and to open a discussion about the role of women in the First World War.

The Leeman Road District war memorial was built to a distinctive bespoke design in 1925 and lists the names of more than 70 local men, and unusually, three women. The local women were munitions workers killed in an accidental explosion at the Barnbow shell filling factory in Leeds in December 1916. In total 35 women lost their lives in the explosion.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: "This centenary comes at a point where living memory becomes written history, so it is absolutely essential that our work to mark it speaks clearly to young people in particular. War Memorials are a precious part of our heritage that keeps alive the ultimate sacrifice that so many made. It is absolutely right that we cherish and protect them".

Roger Bowdler, Designation Director at English Heritage, said: "Researching, recording and recommending up to 2,500 more war memorials for listing over the next five years is a major task but one that English Heritage is proud to undertake. These memorials will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country's role in the First World War, and to ensure that they are properly looked after in times to come."

War Memorials Trust is working in partnership with English Heritage to encourage applications to list war memorials and wants people to report war memorials in poor condition so that it can help get these memorials repaired.

Maria Miller added: "Whether we have relatives whose names are on local memorials, or who fought alongside those who died, we all have a connection with remembrance. I would urge everyone to make sure their local memorial is in good condition. If it isn't, then English Heritage, War Memorials Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund all have grants and advice available."