A ‘STRIKING’ Brierley Hill war memorial has been given a prestigious Grade II listed heritage status.

The Church Hill monument, which was unveiled on November 12, 1921, has been given the status based on its historic interest and sculptural value.

In a report published by English Heritage, the memorial was described as an ‘eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world wars on the community and the sacrifices made in conflicts’.

The memorial shows a figure, based on photographs of Stanley Harley – the first Brierley Hill man to be awarded a distinguished conduct medal, in First World War uniform on top of a pedestal.

Brierley Hill Councillor Rachel Harris said: “I am so pleased that English Heritage has given the memorial a Grade II listing. It’s brilliant news.

“This means the council will now have to come up to its obligation of looking after it in the future and has no excuse to not bring the memorial gardens up to scratch.”

The report also said the structure is a work of artistic interest because it was created by a notable firm, Browns of Kidderminster, and has significant value as an artistic representation designed by local people and depicting a local hero portrayed as the charging soldier.

The Grade II status follows the completion last year on the landmark 100-year-old wall beneath the memorial as part of a £200,000 restoration project.

Councillor Hilary Bills, cabinet member for environment and culture, said: “I am delighted the memorial has been granted listed status by English Heritage.

“It is a striking feature on the Brierley Hill landscape and a lasting tribute to those who have given their lives in conflicts.”