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.
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.