National Memorial Arboretum revisited

Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

The National Memorial Arboretum is a year-round centre of remembrance and needs to be revisited.  Not only should a first visit be mandatory, but also it is one of those places that gives more each time you go.  It changes with the seasons of course, but also as trees mature and new memorials are added. 

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IBCC – Recognition, Remembrance, Reconciliation

IBCC, Lincoln

In 2015, a rust-weathered steel spire was erected on the skyline above the City of Lincoln.  It is 102 feet, more than 31 metres, high – by no coincidence equivalent to the wingspan of a Second World War Lancaster bomber.  The spire is the dramatic centrepiece of The International Bomber Command Centre, which commemorates the

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The Cambridge American Cemetery

American Cemetery, WW2, England

Something like 3 million US citizens passed through the United Kingdom during the Second World War.  The Cambridge American Cemetery commemorates almost 9,000 Americans who died while based here, or en route, in those years of conflict.  They died at sea on convoys transporting essential supplies, troops and military equipment, across the Atlantic; they died

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Finding George on Portsmouth’s Naval Memorial

Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea Common

A recent visit to Portsmouth necessitated a walk along the seafront – really, it has to be done – and a visit to this enormous monument.  The seafront was familiar from childhood and I remembered the memorial well; I might even have played within its semi-hallowed embrace and fidgetingly attended a remembrance service there. I

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Eleven O One

In 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns on the Western Front fell silent.  Just imagine.  For the first time in more than four years, in this part of Europe, men stopped killing one another.  Fighting had officially continued throughout that morning, however.  Some, like American General

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National Service of Remembrance

Poppy wreaths, Cenotaph

Amazing; moving; humbling; impressive: words you could choose to describe the annual National Service of Remembrance held in London on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November.  Thousands attend every year; thousands watch it on TV; thousands more attend similar, albeit slightly more modest, services throughout the United Kingdom – and beyond.  It is an

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Cannock Chase War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice, Cannock Chase, military cemetery

The Cross of Sacrifice instantly identifies a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery.  Beautifully tended, as they all are, the information panel tells you that this one contains 383 burials from the First World War, 97 Commonwealth – mainly New Zealanders – and 286 Germans.  There are also three burials from the Second World War. Shortly after

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Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof, Cannock Chase

German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase

Almost 5,000 German and Austrian war dead, 2,143 from the First World War and 2,797 from the Second, lie in peace in Cannock Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty in rural Staffordshire.  Some died trying to kill our parents or grandparents from the skies; others were washed ashore from ships; and some were prisoners

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