Memorial cross survives fire that swept through field during heatwave

(Photo: The Independent)

When the unprecedented heatwave shattered records across England last month, a fire raged in a field in Kent but miraculously stopped when it reached the edge of a giant memorial cross etched into the earth.

The large cross was carved into the field in memory of the people of Lenham who died in World War I and is white because of the chalky earth. 

The cross spans 61 metres by 21 metres and is maintained by Historic England. 

The names of the fallen from both World Wars were originally recorded on two memorial stones at the site but these have since been moved to a local church. 

Drone footage by The Independent shows a large area of scorched earth that stops right at the tip of the cross.

The footage shows how the fire breached the parameter of the memorial and burnt part of the surrounding lawn but did not burn the cross itself, which remains intact. 

Parish councilor Mike Cockett, speaking in 2017 after the cross was officially registered as a war memorial by Historic England, said it was "always one of the first places we show visitors".