Burton war memorial, Rossett

Burton war memorial, near Rossett

The cross at this roadside spot was erected by Mary Louisa Sykes in memory of “our men who died fighting for the right” in the First World War.

The inscription at the base records also that she “reverently replaced” the “ruined cross”. This is a reference to the ancient stone cross known as Croes Howell. You can see its remains here, in front of the plinth. In the late 15th century the cross was probably a conspicuous object in the area. The antiquarian Edward Lhuyd included it in a list of crosses in 1698. However, in 1911 it was recorded that only 45cm of the cross remained, on a pedestal c.90cm wide. At that time it was at the edge of a wood beside the lawn of Croes Howell House, near here.

Mary Louisa Sykes lived in Cross Howell House. Her husband was John Thornley Sykes, a magistrate. He died in 1908, leaving his wife and two daughters.

The house was an auxiliary military hospital during the First World War, with Mrs Sykes as its commandant. She was made a Member of the British Empire in 1918 in recognition of her work as donor and organiser of the hospital. She died in January 1951, aged 95.

The main war memorial for the area is in the churchyard in Rossett. Two of the men named on it are known to have had specific connections to Burton – see below for their details.

First World War

  • Crewe, John William, Private 235205. Died 09/10/1917 aged 21. Gloucestershire Regiment. Son of William and Mary Elizabeth Crewe of Burton. Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
  • Jones, Harry, Private 27369. Died 12/08/1916 aged 21. King’s Liverpool Regiment. Son of Mrs Jane Jones of Poplar Row, Burton. Buried at Exeter High Cemetery.

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