Friday, 4 March 2016

War Memorials News

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War Memorials News

How will we remember them?                                             1st March 2016

Our campaign has gained even more momentum this week, with more volunteers signing up, more media coverage, and most importantly, more war memorials saved and protected.

School children, university students, civic societies, history groups and local councils have all been getting involved with the campaign, showing how much it means to all types of people.

See what they have been doing below!

Fishponds Academy students secure listed status for local memorial 

Picture: Students attend Nov 11th Commemorations (right) and lay a wreath (left)
Year 6 students from Fishponds Academy in Fishponds, Bristol have been receiving congratulations from right across their town recently for their hard work and dedication, in undertaking work to list a local war memorial.

The students work, alongside local volunteers, has resulted in the listing of the memorial in the local park at Grade II. 

Reverend Lizzie Kesteven praised the students involvement stating, "For children, the chance to be able to physically touch history is of great importance in terms of experience, connection and learning. For a group of Year 6 students to be able to take part in the laying of a wreath on 11th November with others from the community was a rare glimpse of young and old brought together in a moment of silent reflection."

Local volunteer, Jeremy Banning, agreed "I am confident that, in years to come, the children from Fishponds Academy will remember with great pride their involvement in preserving the local war memorial. I can only hope that this partnership between children and Historic England means that other schools around the country can do likewise."

If your local area would like to become involved  in Heritage Schools please contact: 

Woodland Trust launches search for First World War Remembrance trees

Picture: A living memorial to the First World War in Spencer Park, Coventry.
Woodland Trust have sent out tree 'detectives' in search of the Verdun oaks. The oak trees, which were planted as memorials for soldiers who fell during the First World War, are now 100 years old.

The trees were originally planted from acorns collected from the battlefield after the Battle of Verdun. A battle which, lasted 302 days and led to the deaths of around 400,000 troops and which marked its anniversary on February 21 2016.

If you can help find the Verdun Oaks please email the Woodland Trust or visit

Upton-by-Chester Parish Council takes action for local memorial

Local volunteers from Upton-by-Chester have taken action to repair and conserve their local memorial following a Civic Voice workshop.

The local Parish Council and the sub-group from their Environment Committee gathered to further discuss their involvement in the programme and agreed to contact schools to encourage them to get involved, for example, by researching the history of Upton war memorial.  Volunteers will be looking more fully at the names on the memorial and the stories behind each individual. There are also plans to find out whether there are any other names local residents would like to add to the memorial as well as finding ways of commemorating those who died in more recent conflicts. The group plans to apply for grant funding, primarily for improvements to the area around the war memorial to enhance its setting and accessibility.

Bristol's Sikh war memorial plan gets backing

Picture: A national memorial to the Sikh soldiers was unveiled last year
A campaign to build a war memorial in Bristol has been backed by the Sikh community, with the mayor and the city council also being asked to support plans for a memorial commemorating their sacrifice.
An estimated 83,000 Sikhs lost their lives in World War One and about 109,000 were seriously wounded. During World War One, Sikhs made up 20% of the British Indian Army in action, despite being less than 2% of the Indian population at the time.
Labour councillor Steve Pearce and Bristol's Sikh community have taken on the campaign.
Mr Pearce said: "The service and sacrifice Sikh soldiers made during the two world wars and past conflicts should never be forgotten."
Dilawer Singh, from the city's Sikh community, said: "Tens of thousands of Sikh troops lost their lives fighting for Britain in World War One and it is important that we as a city commemorate them."

Sefton Council confirms start date for restoration of Bootle's war memorial

Sefton Council has confirmed that the work to restore Bootle's War Memorial will begin in the spring.
The local authority has put together a plan to give the town's well-known landmark its first ever  'major restoration' since it was built in 1922.
The council has revealed that the project will cost around £120,000 and follows a successful funding bid to War Memorials Trust for repair and conservation. Bootle's memorial has also been given “national significance” due to its importance in remembering those who lost their lives in both World Wars.
The memorial, designed by Hubert E. Bulmer and built by Henry A Clegg & Sons of Chester, was constructed using stone from the Forest of Dean and lists the names of all Bootle men who were killed in both World Wars. The figures, sculptured in bronze by Joseph Hermon Cawthre (1886 – 1971) and cast by Mario Maneti (1885-1954) depict a mother holding her child and three men, representing a soldier, a sailor and an airman.


£2 million of Government funding is available to support the repair and conservation of war memorials through the centenary of World War I. War Memorials Trust believes that 10,000 memorials could be at risk. If you think your memorial would benefit from funding apply now here.


Picture: Turvey war memorial in Bedfordshire
One such memorial that has benefited from a War Memorials Trust grant is at Turvey war memorial in Bedfordshire, a granite wheel cross with a tapering column with a floriated design in relief. The plinth and base have trefoil designs carved onto each face and names of the fallen  are listed on the plinth and base in lead and painted black.
In 2013, War Memorials Trust offered a grant of £720 towards cleaning of the war memorial using non-metallic bristle brushes and water and re-pointing the joints using lime mortar, colour matched to the stonework.

War memorials campaign in the news

Since the campaign has started, the First World War Memorials Programme has dramatically grown and is fast gaining wide national recognition. In the past month the listings campaign for the programme has popped up in a variety of different media. These can be seen below.

BBC Radio Surrey, 8 February
Sevenoaks Chronicle, 8 February
BBC Radio Oxford 5 February
Dorset Echo, 5 February
Shropshire, 2 February
Daily Echo, 29 January
Northamptonshire Telegraph, 29 January
Northants Herald and Post, 29 January
Essex County Standard, 29 January
Milton Keynes Citizen, 29 January


Our work continues to gather pace in local areas across the country, offering support to help you save your local war memorials. Take a look below and see if there are any workshops coming up in your area. Click on the link to register

Event: War Memorials, Building a Movement

Civic Voice has organised an event for volunteers, who are involved in the First World War Memorials Programme, to get together to share ideas about how to find and survey all of the country's war memorials. There will also be an opportunity for volunteers to share their experiences and the challenges they have faced in recruiting volunteers. The event will take place on Saturday, April 30th from 10am - 4pm at Glenn Howells Architects, 321 Bradford Street, Birmingham, B5 6ET. To register your place at the event click here.

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