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 2Lt
Second Lieutenant, a rank in the British Army.

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Aisle Aisle
A subsidiary space at the sides of a church, separated from the main body by an arcade of columns or arches.

Left, part of the north aisle at St Bartholomew's Church, Clay Cross. Here it is separated from the nave by arches supported on columns.
Alabaster Alabaster
A relatively soft type of limestone formed from calcium carbonate. It may occur in various colours including white, cream, brown and green and so is often used as a frame or to decorate components of memorials. Although sometimes carved into delicate shapes it does not weather well and so is only likely to be found on memorials indoors.

Left, a detail of the cream and brown mottled alabaster panel in the memorial in the Borrowash Methodist Chapel.
Ashlar Ashlar
Masonry cut into rectangular blocks, usually laid in regular courses.

Left, a detail of gritstone ashlar blocks in the Sherwood Foresters' memorial at Crich Stand.
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Backboard Backboard
A plain, usually thin, panel of stone or wood attached to a wall and onto which a plaque or tablet is affixed. Metal plaques often have a wooden backboard and white marble tablets often have a backboard of black marble or slate.

Left, the plaque to Lt Holmes at Heage is on a wooden backboard.
Barleytwist Barleytwist
(Also known as barley twist.) A column or shaft with a spiraling twisting shape like a corkscrew.

Left, the two side uprights on this chairback at St Bartholomew's Church, Clay Cross have been turned to a barleytwist design.
Base Base
In classical architecture, the plinth and mouldings between the bottom of a shaft and the top of the pedestal, or between the shaft and the pavement. By extension the base can also refer to any substantial support at the foot of a structure. Many memorials surmount a three-stepped base.

Left, the memorial at Brandside is supported on a three-stepped base.
Batter Batter
An intentional slope of a wall or other structure from the perpendicular.

Left, the pedestal of this memorial at Derwent has battered faces.
Bench Bench
There are differences of opinion regarding the distinction between a chair and a bench. For our purposes a bench is a seat for two or more people, with or without arms or backrest.

Left, this bench at Coton in the Elms is a memorial to Cpl R Aston.
Block Block Lettering
A general term, also called sans serif, to describe a type of font which has lines of similar thickness and without any serifs. When used on memorials it is usually bold and upright and often, though not exclusively, upper case.

Left, two examples of block lettering, of which there are many different styles.
Board Board
A wooden panel bearing an inscription, decoration or both.

Left, this board commemorates employees of the former Midland Railway Carriage and Wagon Works in Derby.
BoR Book of Remembrance
This is a specific type of memorial and comprises a book in which are inscribed the names of those commemorated. Books of Remembrance may take many forms. Some are fully bound, with embossed covers, elaborate illumination and intricate coloured calligraphy on high quality paper or even parchment or vellum. Others are commercially printed or may be simply hand-written into a plain book. Many modern ones are printed at home from a word processor. All are valid memorials to those named.

Left, the Book of Remembrance at All Saints' Church, Ripley.
 Brass
Brass is a metal alloy widely used for making commemorative plaques. Because it is rather soft and not hardwearing it is usually found indoors. It is generally considered to be made of copper and zinc but it may also contain other metals such as tin. It is usually yellowish in colour but may vary depending on the proportions of the different elements used in its manufacture. It is not always easy to distinguish between brass and bronze.
 Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy widely used for making commemorative plaques. Because it is rather hard and quite hardwearing it may often be found out of doors. It is generally considered to be made of copper and tin but may also contain zinc. Some recipes create specialist forms such as bellmetal or gunmetal. Spelter is a low grade form of bronze which contains mainly zinc but may also contain tin or lead. Pewter is an alloy, also of tin and lead, which may also contain other metals. It is difficult to distinguish between these different alloys and they are all listed here as bronze. It is not always easy to distinguish between bronze and brass.
 Buckram
A woven fabric, soaked in a stiffening agent to seal and colour it, used for covering books.

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 c
An abbreviation for circa which is latin for about, roughly or approximately. It is often used when a dimension could not be measured and has been estimated: it is then used before the dimension, so c50mm means about fifty millimetres. It is always lower case.
Calligraphy Calligraphy
Handwritten lettering in a formal style, usually written with a broad nib and often in various coloured inks.

Left, an extract from the calligraphy in the Book of Remembrance at St Paul's Church, Quarndon.
Cant Cant
An oblique line or plane which cuts off the corner of a square or cube,

Left, the canted plinth on the memorial for Derby School, Derby.
Capstone Capstone
A type of coping stone which caps or covers a pillar. Capstones may be of stone, brick or tile and should have a sloping top to throw off the water. They may project over the pillar with a throating to form a drip so that water does not flow over the surface below.

Left, the capstone on the memorial at Monyash.
Caption Caption
An explanatory or interpretive text displayed alongside an exhibit or artefact.

Left, a caption accompanying the memorial to Capt Hon W Curzon at Kedleston Hall.
Cavo rilievo Cavo Rilievo
Also called cavo-rilievo or cavo relievo and derived from an Italian expression meaning hollow relief. A form of stone carving where the background is cut away leaving the detail standing proud within a small panel surrounding the feature so that no part of it projects beyond the surrounding surface . In inscriptions the background panel may enclose small areas, sometimes just a single word.

Left, an extract from the cavo rilievo inscription on the memorial at Quarndon.
Cenotaph Cenotaph
This is a very specific type of memorial and comprises a structure in the style of a tomb similar to those historical ones often found inside churches. The structure sometimes has a figure of a deceased person on the top, and is usually raised on a high battered pillar. The Cenotaph in Whitehall is a typical example of the style. Many people think that any war memorial is a cenotaph and it has become a widely misused term. The word comes from the Greek for ‘empty tomb’. Church tombs do actually contain the remains of the person commemorated and so mark a grave, but cenotaphs do not contain any remains.

Left, the cenotaph in Ilkeston Market Place.
Chair Chair
There are differences of opinion regarding the distinction between a chair and a bench. For our purposes a chair is a freestanding seat for one person, with or without arms but with a backrest.

Left, this chair at Clay Cross is a memorial to Fl Sgt H N Unwin.
Chalice Chalice
In general terms a chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink, especially for a ceremony. In many Christian denominations chalices are used to hold wine during Holy Communion and are often made of precious metal, sometimes engraved, enamelled or jewelled.

Left, this chalice at Chesterfield is a memorial to P W Philipps.
Christograph Christograph
The letters ihs or IHS are sometimes found at the centre of a cross or at the head of a gravestone. They are often in the form of a monogram or calligraph, also called a Christogram or Christograph. They have long been a symbol of Christian religion and have several possible derivations. They may be a Latinised form of the Greek for Jesus, IHESUS (there is no J in Latin, and an I is generally used instead), or from the Latin Ihesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus, Saviour of Mankind. A modern interpretation is In His Service.

Left, an example of a Christograph.
Arms Coat of Arms
Heraldic terms are quite complex, often misused and beyond the scope of this site. Although not technically correct, we use the term Coat of Arms to mean the shield bearing a specific design, either alone or together with any other components of the full armorial bearings including helmet (or helm), mantling, wreath, crest, supporters, motto or any other features. Note, however, that we use the terms Crest and Badge for their individual uses.

Left, the coat of arms of the British monarch also used by government departments and the armed forces.
 Colonnette
A miniature column.
 Column
An upright structural member of round section. The surface of a column is often smooth or fluted but may be highly decorated.
 Conflict
We record memorials arising from a range of violent events much wider than might be expected from the word war. For legal reasons some events that we think of as war are not officially declared as such. Examples include the Malayan Emergency of 1948-1960; The Mau Mau Revolt of 1952-1960 and the Falklands Conflict of 1892. But there are much wider terms too, such as the Holocaust, deaths in service of military personnel and the war on terror. And there have been inumerable civil wars and civilian uprising throught Britain's history. These and many more are covered by the word Conflict.
Cornice Cornice
A horizontal decorative moulded projection at the top of a structure. Cornices are often used in buildings on a parapet, or above door or window openings but are often used above memorial tablets and boards.

Left, an example of a cornice above the tablet at Turnditch.
Crest Crest
The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms but is only one component of an heraldic display. It consists of the symbol or device borne on top of the helmet.

Left, the crest on Derby City Council's coat of arms is a ram with a golden collar between two sprigs of broom.
Crucifix Crucifix
A latin cross with the figure of Jesus Christ on it.

Left, the crucifix on the war memorial at the former St Michael’s Church, Derby.
Custodian Custodian
Many war memorials were erected by local organisations or by special committees set up for the purpose. Some of those organisations may still exist and continue to be responsible their memorials but many of them have been wound up or simply ceased to exist. Although local authorities have the power to assume responsibility for memorials within their area they cannot be expected to do so for anything other than the main public monuments. This leaves most memorials without an identifiable owner so in some cases their maintenance has been carried out by local volunteers such as members of a veterans' association or a local community group. In recognition of this, the Ministry of Justice's Department for Constitutional Affairs has encouraged the use of the term Custodian to refer to any person or organisation which maintains a war memorial, whether or not it is actually responsible for it. Further details may be obtained from the booklet "War Memorials in England and Wales: Guidance for Custodians" produced by the Department for Constitutional Affairs in March 2007. Further details may be obtained from the department's website.
 CWGC
An abbreviation for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a body charged with ensuring that 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten.
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