Another Midlands meander found me at Kings Bromley marina for the second time. BB was on good form if a little distracted by a lump he’d found on Sam, the older of his two elderly springers. Luckily the vet reassured him today that the lump is merely fat – and we all breathe again. Live long and prosper Sam!
On Saturday BB took me to the National Memorial Arboretum where those from the all the armed forces who since 1945, did not live long enough in the service of the nation to prosper, are remembered. It is not a place of burial. The main memorial and wall where all the names of those who have died on duty since the end of WW2 are carved, including our cousin who died in Aden in 1968, is central to the complex. I was absolutely staggered to find out that there are over 16,000 names inscribed.
Amongst the many trees planted in memory of individuals are many more memorials, to ships lost, regiments both RAF and Army, medics and nurses, and divisions and organisations too numerous to mention.
For me, apart from the central, there were two memorials I found most meaningful.
The R.E.M.E. memorial, flanked on one side by a bronze plaque of the original badge, which my father as one of the first members of the regiment wore and on the other by a plaque of the current badge worn by two of my brothers and our previously mentioned cousin, George.
The one which moved me nearly to tears was the memorial to those Shot at Dawn. 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers who deserted the trenches in WW1, most of them probably suffering from post traumatic stress, were court martialled, found guilty, tied to posts and shot at dawn …
All were finally posthumously pardoned in 2006.
It is a beautiful place, well worth visiting.
🙂 🙂 🙂