SEVEN war memorials in the North-East have been given protected ‘listed’ status as part of a pledge to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018 – the centenary of the end of the First World War.

They include Aycliffe War Memorial, in Newton Aycliffe, West Rainton War Memorial and St Patrick’s Congregation War Memorial, in Dipton, all County Durham, along with one in Newcastle and three in Northumberland.

Historic England – formerly English Heritage – is now encouraging members of the public to put forward war memorials in their community for listing so they can be brought under the consideration of the planning system and protected for future generations.

At one time such memorials, built as a physical reminder of the sacrifices the First World War brought about, were not thought to be architecturally important enough to get listed status.

But attitudes have changed and a programme involving Historic England, the War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museum is now providing up to £2 million in grants for repairs and conservation.

The Government’s Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said: “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 Historic England, the War Memorials Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund all have grants and advice available.”

Roger Bowdler, director of listing at Historic England, said: “These memorials will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country’s sacrifice and struggle.”

For more information on listing visit