War memorials across the South Hams have been protected by the government ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Four monuments in Thurlestone, Stokenham, Ivybridge and Ugborough are among 26 to be listed across Devon.

Historic England said it was vital to protect the structures for future generations.

Built in the aftermath of the First World War, the newly listed memorials were erected in memory of the people who lost their lives in the conflict.

“In place of graves, these memorials became focal points for local communities to mourn and honour their dead," Historic England said.

Heritage minister Helen Whately said: “War memorials have a special place in communities and remind us of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country."

“It is right that these monuments to the brave people who sadly never returned from the First World War will now be preserved and protected."

Deborah Williams, Historic England’s listing team leader, said: “This Sunday many of us will observe the two minutes’ silence, which shows just how important we still believe it is for us to commemorate those who died in conflict.

“It’s this same respect for the fallen that has inspired us to list these memorials in Devon and help protect them for years to come.”

In 2014, Historic England committed to listing 2,500 war memorials by the end of 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

It achieved this target, listing 2,645, but decided to continue the work as many more cherished memorials worthy of listing status were identified.

Thurlestone War Memorial on the village green is now listed.

While Ugborough War Memorial at the Church of St Peter in Ugborough has been protected.

Also listed is the Ivybridge War Memorial at the junction of Fore Street and Erme Road.

While Stokenham War Memorial at the Church of St Michael & All Angels has also been saved.