The National Memorial Arboretum

A few weeks ago we visited the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, between Burton and Lichfield in Staffordshire. Although the arboretum is only a few miles from home, it had been six years since we last visited it and many more memorials had been erected in that period.

The statistics – Over 30,000 trees, almost 400 varied memorials, 150 acres of beautifully maintained grounds. The memorials represent various organisations from military associations, charities, notable events, to the police and all the emergency services. This is a fascinating place, not morbid (there are no actual burials or graves there) but very peaceful and thought provoking. The chapel is the only place in the country to hold a daily Act of Remembrance, even on Christmas Day.

Rather than repeat or attempt to précis the large amount of information available here is a link to the website

There are understandably lots of traditional memorials such as columns, obelisks, large granite and Portland stone structures but there are numerous unusual and unique ones too.

This first one commemorates the Christmas Day truce in 1914 when British and German soldiers ceased hostilities, played football, sang Silent Night / Stille Nacht, and exchanged small gifts of chocolate or cigarettes. The trees here are appropriately Christmas trees. The memorial was dedicated in 2014 by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, president of the FA.

The Football Remembers memorial was designed by ten-year old Spencer Turner after a UK-wide competition.

Another interesting one entitled Every Which Way remembers the evacuation of millions of British children separated from their families during WW2

Poppies in remembrance of individuals.

The Royal Air Forces Association

The Naval Service Memorial

6 thoughts on “The National Memorial Arboretum

  1. A great set of photographs – Thanks for sharing.
    Up until seeing your blog post I was only aware of the armed forces memorial and had no idea about all the other memorials. What a fascinating and reflective place. I’m sure it’s somewhere which demands more than one visit. Not just to take in the memorials and give the place time but also to see it in different seasons. You have inspired me to add this to my list of places to visit.
    Thanks you and best wishes,
    Mr C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mr C, yes well a visit. We can recommend the land train tour with recorded commentary which gives you an idea of the size and layout of the arboretum. You can then return to particular memorials on foot. We had a very tasty and reasonably priced meal in the restaurant. The whole place couldn’t function without the many very helpful volunteers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The land train is a top tip! I like the idea of getting an overview with the added commentary. Nice to get a sense of scale and a mental map of the place. I imagine it will also cut down on the number of miles walked…!
        Volunteers are so important and I’m sure it must be a honour to give time to the National Memorial Arboretum.
        Thank you for the link to the website which looks pretty comprehensive in terms of planning a visit.
        Best wishes
        Mr C

        Liked by 1 person

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