A YORK war memorial which is one of the few to honour women who fell victim to First World War hostilities has been made a Grade II listed building by English Heritage.

The Leeman Road War Memorial in Salisbury Terrace has been included in a scheme to list 500 historic war memorials across the country as the centenary of the outbreak of the war approaches.

The listing was officially announced by Culture Secretary Maria Miller at the Imperial War Museum on International Women’s Day last week.

The Leeman Road memorial is unusual in that it includes the names of three women who were among the 35 killed in the explosion at the Barnbow filling factory in Leeds in 1916.

Mary E Carter, Lilian Eva Ellis and Gertrude Reed are honoured alongside dozens of men.

Neil Redfern, English Heritage’s principal inspector of ancient monuments in Yorkshire said: “For a long time I have walked past this memorial, and the thing that struck me has been the three full names listed on it. All the other names only include initials. That made me stop and look and see that they are female names.”

Research uncovered the fact the three women were killed in the Barnbow explosion, which was not reported at the time because of security concerns.

Mr Redfern said: “Any commemoration is important because it is of value to the people who put it up and who it commemorates, but what makes this more interesting is the fact those names are in full because people must have wanted it to be clear they were women.”

While no other memorials in York are set to be listed in the near future, a spokesman for English Heritage said they working in partnership with the War Memorials Trust to encourage applications to list war memorials, and wants people to report war memorials in poor condition so that it can help get these memorials repaired.

For details on how to care for your local war memorial, look at english-heritage.org.uk/caring/first-world-war-home-front/remembrance.

Coun James Alexander, leader of City of York council and councillor for Holgate ward, said: “I am very pleased this action has been taken in light of it being 100 years since the start of the First World War. As a ward councillor, I am especially pleased and I know local residents will appreciate this move.”