A war memorial remembering fallen heroes from the First and Second World War should be granted listed status ‘to protect it for future generations', councillors say.

The Ivybridge War Memorial, unveiled in 1922, names 70 deceased servicemen - and town councillors hope listed status will stop future developers lodging plans to build over it.

Councillor Ray Wilson, who has researched the names, expects an application to be made to Historic England by the end of the year.

Cllr Wilson cited examples of destroyed war memorials in Stoke-on-Trent which were bulldozed by developers because they had not been listed.

He said: “If it’s listed that means it cannot be changed.

“Imagine there was development in the area in the future - the memorial would have to be protected.

“The development would have to incorporate it.

“The most important reason for seeking listed status is to ensure its maintenance.

South Hams District Council have always done a good job maintaining it but this will ensure we protect it for future generations.

“As an example, in Stoke-on-Trent, there were memorials on buildings from the 1920s but as the area has been developed those memorials have been knocked down.”

The plans were supported by fellow councillors when the issue was raised at a meeting on Monday, August 5 at The Watermark in Ivybridge.

Councillor Tony Rea is a historian who wrote about the memorial’s fallen servicemen from the First World War in his book, South Devon in the Great War.

Among accounts is the tragic story of brothers William and Albert Hannaford, from Ivybridge, who died two days apart fighting in France and Belgium.

Their parents William and Sibillia Hannaford, who lived in Crescent Road, received the devastating news in spring 1918.

Albert, 19, was killed on April 17 while fighting with 1/5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in France.

William, 25, was a sergeant in the 10th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment - and was killed in Belgium on April 19.

Neither of the Hannaford boys has a known grave.

Albert is also commemorated on the Loos memorial, pas de Calais, France, while William, who left behind wife Olive, appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Zonnebeke, Belgium.

Another notable name on Ivybridge’s memorial is Major John Bayly, a sidesman of St John’s, Ivybridge, whose death was reported in the town’s Parish Magazine, April 1918.

In a moving eulogy, a vicar said of Major Bayly: “His loss would be felt throughout the county, his interest being so wide and diverse.

“He was a loyal, staunch fellow Churchman, one who loved his Lord and therefore loved His Church.

“He was indeed a ‘good’ man.”

The Ivybridge War Memorial was unveiled by Major Francis Mildmay, a former Totnes MP who later became Baron Mildmay of Flete.