FIVE war memorials in Oxfordshire are among hundreds to be listed as part of Historic England’s pledge to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018, marking the centenary of the end of the First World War.

All five war memorials, including the one in St Giles in Oxford, have now been Grade II listed by Historic England.

The heritage experts have been campaigning since 2014 to make war memorials across England Grade II listed structures.

The status ensures that buildings are considered 'of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them'.

The other memorials in Oxfordshire which have been Grade II listed are Headington Quarry War Memorial, New Marston War Memorial, Old Marston War Memorial and Abingdon War Memorial.

Jim Lewendon, 88, president of the Oxford City branch of the Royal British Legion, welcomed the decision to list the memorials.

He said: "I'm delighted these memorials have been listed - it will help to ensure they are properly preserved.

"The war memorial in St Giles is such an important focal point for Remembrance Sunday.

"I have been working for the legion since 1973 and God willing I will be there again this year with my poppy tin."

Roger Bowdler, director of listing at Historic England, said: "Researching, recording and recommending up to 2,500 more war memorials for listing over the next five years is a major task but one that Historic England is proud to undertake.

"These memorials will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country’s sacrifice and struggle."

Historic England wants members of the public to put their war memorials forward for listing.

The conservationists have formed a partnership with the War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museums to help communities discover, care for and conserve their local war memorials.

Working with volunteers across the country, the programme is providing up to £2m in grants for war memorial repair and conservation and hundreds of workshops to teach people how to record their memorials and put them forward for listing.

Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East said the programme was important for 'community recognition and remembrance of those who sacrificed everything for our country'.

He added: "The work of volunteers of all ages will make a very welcome contribution to preserving memorials, and with them the memory of all those whose service and sacrifice they record."

Last week two war memorials at Marston, one at St Nicholas's Church, Old Marston, and another at the junction of William Street and John Garne Way with Marston Road, were both granted the Grade-II listed building status, protecting them for future generations.

Old Marston parish councillor Duncan Hatfield said earlier listing the memorials was an important way of safeguarding a key part of the area's history