I made my first trip to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire today. It is a large site with around 30,000 trees and oer 350 memorials. Far to much to cover everything in this blog, so I thought I would let you have my personal impressions of the day.
The Armed Forces Memorial which is the centrepiece of the Arboretum. Interesting the site has many non-military and individual memorials as well.
In the centre of the memorial are some very powerful sculturees.
At this time of year meny people visit the many memorials and leave their own tributes.
Here is a powerful reminder of the Christmas Day Truce in World War One where both sides laid down their arms for a day and played a game of football.
The Free Spirits memorial which is a tribute to recognise the unique partnership between human and horse. It reminded me of my Grandfathers role in World War One where he drove horses wagons to supply the front line.
During the Second World War my other Grandfather drove steam Trains which were always a target. After a long days shift he would also volunteer as an air raid lookout.
My father was called up as a Bevin Boy in World War Two when the government realised there was a massive shortage of miners. As health and safety practices were lacking by today’s standards this wasn’t a safe option.
The Polish Memorial was interesting as it told many of the heroic stories.
This was the memorial that affected me the most. This is for all those who were shot for not carrying out their duties. We now know that many of these men will have been suffering from shell shock. Each post represents those who were shot and is labelled with their names and ages.
Look at the date on this. Only four days before the Armistice was signed. The war was over but still the killing went on.