Alrewas: Auxiliary Territorial Service Statue

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Located along Millennium Avenue at the National Arboretum is the above life-size statue. Dedicated to the members who played an important role in World War II, the statue depicts an Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) girl wearing the basic khaki uniform. The ATS was formed in September 1938 and was made up of volunteers who underwent six weeks of basic training. The ATS was disbanded in 1949 and the Women’s Royal Army Corps was formed. The memorial statue is the work of sculptor Andy De Comyn who used his wife Francesca as the model. Consisting of a cementitous render over a reinforced concrete core, the appearance of the statue is akin to limestone and designed to withstand weathering and acid rain.

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Alrewas: The National Ex-Prisoner of War Association Memorial

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Located along Millennium Avenue at the National Arboretum is the above memorial dedicated to the memory of those who fell by the wayside on the many routes from Polish POW camps. Marching in appalling conditions on those journeys, many veterans suffered diseases such as typhoid and diphtheria or carried wounds inflicted prior to or after capture. During one of Germany’s worst recorded winters, all POW’s were malnourished and had inadequate clothing or equipment to protect them. The memorial at the Arboretum is an exact replica of the one in Fallingbostel and was built by members of 2 Battn REME and Royal Engineers. The memorial is dedicated to the memory of those made prisoner in World War II theatres in Scandinavia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Alrewas: RNR/RAR Memorial

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The above memorial at the National Arboretum is dedicated to the Rhodesia Native Regiment and the Rhodesia African Rifles Regiment. This beautiful monument honours those who served in the Rhodesia Native Regiment – some 195 men fell in East Africa in the Great War (1916-1919). A total of 311 officers and men serving with the Rhodesian African Rifles fell during campaigns in World War Two, Burma 1944 – 1946, Egypt 1952, Malaya, Nyasaland 1959, Northern Rhodesia/Katanga Border 1961, Rhodesia 1966-1979, Zimbabwe Rhodesia 1979 – 1980 and Zimbabwe 1981. The memorial was designed to represent part of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins which were built in the 14th century and are now a World Heritage Site. The ruins were re-discovered by Europeans in the late 19th century near Masvingo in Zimbabwe. The memorial was unveiled on 19th July 2015 by The Marquess of Salisbury, President of the Rhodesian African Rifles Regimental Association.

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Alrewas: Ulster Ash Grove

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Located at the end of Millennium Avenue at the National Arboretum is the Ulster Ash Grove. Planted as a living tribute to the members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC, the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve, the Armed Forces and other organisations in the service of the crown, the monument is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during the troubles in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 2001. The weeping ash trees planted within the grove represent the lives lost in pursuit of peace and form a changing backdrop to the stone circle and Mourne granite pillar.

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The circle contains one block of stone quarried from each of the six counties (Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry & Antrim) and are placed to form a symbolic map of Northern Ireland. The Ulster Grove memorial was dedicated on 23rd September 2003 – the anniversary of the death of the first soldier in 1969.

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Alrewas: The Bevin Boys Memorial

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Located along Millennium Avenue at the National Arboretum stands the Bevin Boys Memorial. With only three weeks stock available, the country faced a crisis in coal production in 1943 which put our country’s ability to win the Second World War in jeopardy. The Prime Minister Winston Churchill charged Ernest Bevin, his Minister of Labour and National Service, to increase coal production. As a result, it was decided that one in ten men conscripts drafted to serve in the armed forces would work underground in British coal mines. The Bevin Boys, as they came to be known, undertook unskilled manual jobs to release more experienced miners to move on to coal production at the coal face. The memorial is dedicated to the essential and dangerous role of the 48,000 Bevin Boys.

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Created in stone from a quarry near Kilkenny, the rough surface of the memorial resembles the natural dark grey colour of coal, especially when wet. The Bevin Boys Memorial Project was funded by contributions from several councils and many individual private donors including the Bevin Boys Association and the Bevin Boys Association Reunion Group.

Durham: Light Infantry War Memorial

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Located in Market Place in Durham centre stands the above war memorial. Honouring the Durham Light Infantry regiment, the bronze sculpture of a soldier symbolises the moment after the infantry buglers sounded the ceasefire in Korea in 1953. The sculpture is set upon a white stone plinth featuring the regimental badge and bears a dedication to all those who served in the regiment. A quotation on the rear of the plinth from Montgomery of Alamein reads “There may be some regiments as good but I know of none better.” The monument was unveiled in September 2014 and is the work of Edinburgh artist Alan Herriot.

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Craven Arms War Memorial

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Standing in St John the Baptist Churchyard in Stokesay is Craven Arms War Memorial. The memorial was unveiled on 29 July 1921 by Brigadier General Rotton C.B., C.M.G. and dedicated by the Venerable Archdeacon Lilley. Originally erected on Corvedale Road in Craven Arms, a rededication service took place on the 17th October 1999 when the memorial was re-positioned in its current location. The monument has a two stepped base of Hornton stone and depicts a WW1 rifleman sculpted from sandstone. Inscribed onto the sides of the plinths are the names of those who lost their lives in both World Wars and the names of those who fought but happily returned home are also listed. The monument is the work of the sculptor William G Storr Barber who served in the Great War with the Royal Marines. At the time the monument was moved in 1999, the War Memorials Trust contributed funds to renovate and conserve the memorial which included re-pointing, re-lettering and cleaning.

The memorial is Grade II Listed.

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Grasmere War Memorial

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Located on a low outcrop in Broadgate Recreation Ground stands the village war memorial. Dedicated to those who fought in both World Wars, the freestanding monument is of local slate and was designed by William Gershon Collingwood – secretary to John Ruskin. Born in Liverpool in 1854, Collingwood settled in Gillhead following an academic career at Oxford. Heavily influenced by John Ruskin and William Morris, he developed a life-long interest in Norse settlement, art and language which prompted his research into the Pre-Norman crosses of Cumbria and the north of England. An expert on Anglo-Saxon crosses, Collingwood also designed Ruskin’s grave in St Andrew’s Church in Coniston.

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Below the wheel head is the figure of a dove and below that a stag is trampling a dragon. An inscription below honours the men of Grasmere as follows: “In honour of the men of Grasmere who fought and in ever thankful memory of the men who died for God for King for home for freedom peace & right in the Great War.” There are no names listed on the memorial – the village dead are listed on a plaque in the nearby 12th century church of St Oswald.

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The memorial verse at the base of the monument reads: “These died in war that we in peace might live. They gave their best so we our best should give. Not for themselves, for freedom home & right. They died and bid us forward to the fight. See you to it that they shall not have died in vain.” The inscription was written by the poet, writer and conservationist Anglican clergyman Canon Hardwicke.D.Rawnsley who was the secretary of the memorial committee. Rawnsley had retired to Allan Bank in 1917 after serving as Vicar of Crosthwaite for 34 years. A close friend of Collingwood, it is thought likely that Rawnsley invited him to design the monument.

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Penrith: Black Angel Memorial

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On elevated ground over-looking Penrith Castle stands the war memorial known locally as The Black Angel. The monument was originally unveiled in 1906 in Corney Square and is dedicated to the men from Penrith who died during the Boer War in South Africa (1899−1902).

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The monument was moved to its current position in Castle Park in 1964 due to concerns from pollution damage. The central panel lists the names of those who lost their lives and is surmounted by a winged angel holding a wreath. The name, The Black Angel, also refers to the book of the same name by Colin Bardgett. The book details the stories and letters written by men of the Penrith Volunteer Company who fought during the Boer War. Not only is the book a military record, it contains a Roll of Honour and valuable information relating to local history. The Black Angel, both book and monument, are a memorial to the Volunteer Companies of Cumberland and Westmorland.

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With little camera exposure (below), the monument lives up to its name by taking the physical appearance of The Black Angel.

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Nithsdale: New Abbey War Memorial

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On the A710 next to Sweetheart Abbey stands New Abbey War Memorial. Dedicated to the memory of those lost in the Great War (1914-1918), the monument is of rough surfaced granite and set upon a stepped plinth. An ornamental sword adorns the cross shaft and the memorial lists thirty six names of those who lost their lives.

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