A field fire sparked by the U.K. heatwave burned acres of land in the village of Lenham in Kent county but stopped at a giant cross that stands in the center of the field as a memorial for those killed in World War I.

The field fire charred much of the ground but stopped at the Lenham Cross, made with chalk cut into the hillside in 1921. Drone footage released by The Independent shows the aftermath of the fire caused by the last month’s heatwave that left the cross untouched.

The memorial, measuring 61 meters by 21 meters, is listed on the National Heritage List for England and is maintained by Historic England. It was supported by a memorial stone surrounded by iron railings at the base, recording the names of the 42 Lenham villagers who died in World War I, according to Kent Online.

Later, a second stone was added with the names of the 14 local men killed in World War II. In 1960, the dedicatory stones, which were initially at the foot of the cross, were moved to the north entrance of St Mary’s Church in Lenham to enable surviving relatives of the men named on the stones to continue to visit as they were getting too old to climb up the hill.

During World War II, the cross was covered so that it wouldn’t be identified as a marker by enemy aircraft. In 1983, the cross was renovated with 40 tonnes of chalk.

lenham cross
Screenshot/The Independent video

For decades, the monument didn’t have any official recognition. Finally, in 2017 Historic England registered the cross as a National Monument and War Memorial. “The Cross is always one of the first places we show visitors, so it was a shock to find it was totally unregistered and virtually unknown outside of Lenham,” Parish councilor Mike Cockett was quoted as saying at the time.

The cross was designed by Mr. C.H.Groom, headmaster of the village school. As well as remembering those who died in the war, the cross reminds us that Jesus Himself died for our community. Jesus gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice so that we could all have lives filled with freedom and purpose. Jesus is the head of the church, and we would not exist if He hadn’t called us to be here. His life and presence with us give us hope for our community.

What are the chances that a field fire would destroy everything except this cross? Some may come up with scientific reasons for this occurrence, but this is nothing short of a miracle. God knew how much this cross meant to the Lenham community, so He spared it from destruction. This cross serves as a memorial for the brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I and II. However, it also serves as a reminder that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

This cross reminds Lenham residents that Jesus is always with them through their trials and a thank you to the brave soldiers.

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