A HISTORIC Highbridge war memorial has been granted Grade II listed status by Heritage England.

The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway Memorial was given the listing on February 10 by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley.

Pam Lyes, a member of Highbridge War Memorial Trust, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the memorial has received this recognition.

“We were contacted a few months ago about the possibility we would get listed and had some forms we had to approve and send back.

“We got a letter from the Secretary of State on February 10 saying we had been Grade II listed. The memorial at Southwell Gardens is very special to some people in Highbridge because the railwayman’s plaque remembers those who worked on the railways in and around Highbridge and went to serve in the war.”

The Somerset and Dorset (S&D) Joint Railway Memorial at Southwell Gardens in Highbridge, known as the railway man’s plaque by Highbridge residents, was unveiled in 1922 to remember staff who worked on the S&D railway. It was moved to Southwell Gardens in 1965 after S&D closed down and the memorial was salvaged after it closed.

The memorial also has four granite plaques with more names of soldiers who died during the First World War, which were added later and are attached to the stone base on which the memorial rests.

Pam added: “A lot of Highbridge residents have a personal connection with Southwell House as a dozen of us took over running it in 1999 from Burnham and Highbridge Town Council and fully took it over in 2002.

“My uncle served in the first world war and his name is on the memorial plaque.

“All of us here at the Highbridge memorial trust are delighted with the recognition.”

A spokesman for the War Memorials Trust said: “War Memorials Trust encourages everyone seeking to protect and conserve their local freestanding war memorials to ensure it is listed.

“We are delighted that the Highbridge War Memorial has been given this protection.”

For more information about the memorial visit http://historicengland.org.uk.