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War Memorials News

How will we remember them?                                   19th January 2016

"This next year, the big effort must be ours" - Sir John Charteris, 1st January 1916

Although the events which followed this quote, led to human tragedy, the message from Sir John Charteris is quite a poignant one. This next year we need, more than ever, volunteers to get engaged with the First World War Memorials Programme to help in the efforts to save our war memorials.

Last year was a fantastic effort from everyone involved, but we need to raise the bar once again. There are a large number of war memorials in England which we are in danger of losing forever. This needs to change. Can you help with our efforts? Email to get involved! 

Alex Chalk MP attends workshop to support the First World War Memorials Programme

Picture: Alex Chalk MP, shows his support to the war memorial campaign by joining volunteers in Cheltenham to help survey the war memorials in the area. 
Attracting people from all over Gloucestershire, Civic Voice worked closely with the Gloucester Diocese to organise a war memorials workshop, which was held on January 16th. Recognising that many war memorials are located inside churches, as well as in church yards, Gloucester Diocese gave its support to the programme and played a vital role in inviting members of congregations, parochial parish councils, and church wardens, from all over the county.  Word also spread to local councils, civic societies and history groups whose representatives also came along to find out more.

MP for Cheltenham, Alex Chalk, who attended the workshop said, "I was delighted to attend the workshop at St Paul’s Church to support the work of Civic Voice in preserving Cheltenham's war memorials. I believe passionately that our memorials should honour appropriately the sacrifice of our armed forces. This project will help to achieve exactly that, and in doing so, will ensure that generations to come will continue to be reminded of the courage of those who have gone before."

Having spent part of the workshop researching the location of their nearest war memorials, participants left with a clear plan of action for the condition surveys they will complete in the coming weeks.  Don’t worry if you missed the chance to attend this workshop.  Civic Voice and Gloucester Diocese are discussing plans for another to be held elsewhere in the county in the near future.  Watch this space!

First World War Memorials Programme partners discuss what's in store for next year

Picture: Representatives from Civic Voice, War Memorials Trust, DCMS and Historic England at the meeting, held in Imperial War Museum, London.
Partner organisations of the First World War Memorials Programme met last week at the Imperial War Museum, London to discuss progress and achievements from last year and plans for the coming year.
The partnership was formed following funding pledged from Department of Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) towards war memorials as part of the activities to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. 
Over the centenary period the programme will deliver advice and funding to help local communities repair and conserve their war memorials; practical conservation training; hundreds of public workshops to encourage local people to record and protect their local war memorials; and the listing of up to 500 memorials a year so that their historical importance is recognised for years to come. 

This year partner organisations will aim to deliver more, in order to get more volunteers involved. They will be carrying out more workshops around the country in a bid to get volunteers from every corner of England to participate in the campaign. The more trained volunteers England has, the more chance there is that our war memorials will be saved. They will also be working hard to make sure custodians can access the grants available, to help repair and conserve their local war memorials. Getting more war memorials listed is also a key aim which arose from the meeting and the partner organisations are giving volunteers the chance to learn how to play their part in this, through training workshops. 
2016 will also see some key centenary dates such as the Battle of Jutland in May and the Battle of the Somme in July.  A wide range of events, exhibitions and activities are planned by the First World War Centenary Partnership giving you the opportunity to get involved in commemorating the fallen. Over the next few weeks War Memorials News will be highlighting these events. 

Meadowpark Primary School pupils survey Cricklade war memorial as part of Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme

Picture: School children from Crickdale survey their local war memorial

School children from Cricklade have been surveying the town’s war memorial as part of a national preservation project.

Meadowpark pupils have been carrying out condition surveys on the Cricklade war memorial as part of Historic England’s campaign to get pupils “involved in caring for their local war memorial” and to have 2,500 memorials across the country listed by 2018.

Rosie Ryder, communications manager for Historic England, said: “As part of our Heritage Schools programme of activities to commemorate the First World War, we are delivering training to teachers on how to get their pupils involved in caring for their local war memorial.

“They will carry out condition surveys which can be uploaded online, while we are also supporting some schools to apply to have their local war memorial listed.”

Barnet War Memorials Association Campaign Success

Picture: Councillor Alison Cornelius, Barnet’s Deputy Mayor unveiling the plaque watched by the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Barnet Mr Martin Russell.
A group of over 50 people including representatives from the emergency services and local societies gathered at Finchley Memorial Hospital in the London Borough of Barnet in December to be present at the unveiling of the renovated First World War Memorial plaque.

For many years the plaque had been mounted near the entrance of the old hospital but this was demolished in 2010 to make way for a brand new building.

Although the new building was completed and fully opened several years ago the plaque remained in storage until a campaign was launched by Barnet’s Deputy Lieutenant and Chairman of the Barnet War Memorials Association, Mr Martin Russell.

Martin welcomed those who had gathered and spoke of the history and importance to the community of the memorial which was then unveiled by Barnet’s Deputy Mayor Councillor Alison Cornelius.  The ceremony was completed by a short service and prayers by the local clergy.

The Coventry Society persuades local council to save war memorials

Picture: The two memorials in Coventry, which were saved.
The Coventry Society, in undertaking its surveys of the 59 First World War memorials in Coventry, discovered that a memorial at one of the city's working men's clubs was not accessible as the club had closed. On further enquiry the society established that the building was subject to a planning application to convert it into flats. 
The Coventry Society then made contact with the planning department and the city's conservation architect visited the site and established that there were actually two memorials there, the second being a WWII memorial. The planning officer advised that the application was likely to be approved and that a decision had to be made within a couple of weeks. He did not consider that a condition could be put on the decision notice to protect the memorials, as this would only be possible if the application would otherwise be refused. He offered instead to put on an "advisory" note on the decision notice about the memorials, but this would not be mandatory or enforceable. The conservation architect advised that the developers would be within their rights to put the memorials into a skip. 
Alarmed by this possible outcome, the society registered the memorials on the War Memorials Online database and raised a concern with War Memorials Trust. Following the provision of further information, the Trust lodged its own comments on the planning application, pointing out the historical importance of the memorials and reminding the council of its responsibilities in relation to historical artifacts. 
This input encouraged a change of mind in the local authority and the planning application was approved subject to a satisfactory scheme for the relocation of the memorials. The society has offered to assist the developer find a relocation site for the memorials and is now working with the Royal British Legion to find somewhere suitable. 

Operation Norfolk Remembers

Picture: War memorial in Norwich city centre

Operation Norfolk Remembers will commemorate Norfolk soldiers who fell in the First World War. The community based project aims to photograph every First World War memorial in Norfolk and build a digital collage with the photos.

The event will take place on Saturday 9th July, where the community will be asked to take photographs of local First World War Memorials and send the images to the Forum, Norwich. A team of experts will then collate these photographs and build a digital collage of Norfolk's First World War memorials.

Operation Norfolk Remembers will enable the people of Norfolk to pay tribute to those soldiers who died in the First World War, it will also create a digital piece of art, and will hopefully produce a complete photographic record of all First World War memorials in the county.

The idea to complete such an ambitious task was conceived by the students and staff of Cambridge University Officers' Training Corps (CUOTC).

CUOTC is a regional organisation and delivers leadership development programmes to undergraduates from Cambridge University and the University of East Anglia. CUOTC will lead the planning for Operation Norfolk Remembers and is joined by a number of partners including the Diocese.

Further information on how you can be involved will be available soon.

'Paws for Remembrance' among National Memorial Arboretum's 200 events for 2016

Picture: National Memorial Arboretum

Britain's National Memorial Arboretum will host more than 200 events in 2016, including a one-day "Paws for Remembrance" walk aimed specifically at dog owners.

As well as staging its ninth annual Ride to the Wall in October for bikers wishing to pay their respects at the national Armed Forces Memorial, the arboretum is hoping to attract dog walkers to the 150-acre site on 14th February 2016.

Arboretum spokesman Andrew Baud said: "Paws for Remembrance is a new event in which we hope to welcome four-legged friends and their owners for a special day out in the Staffordshire countryside.

"We are acutely aware of the need for the utmost respect of the trees and memorials, but we're always striving to be as inclusive as possible so everyone gets a chance to pay their respects to those that have served, suffered or sacrificed."

Other events being held this year include services to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and a commemoration in May marking the 100th anniversary of start of the Battle of Jutland during the First World War.

Grants: Burton Fleming

In 2014 War Memorials Trust offered a grant of £560 for repair and conservation work. Biological growth and soiling along with defective paint of the lead lettering was making the inscription difficult to read. To address this problem the memorial was stream cleaned and the lead lettering was re-painted.

The Burton Fleming war memorial was erected on the Village Church Green as a lasting memorial to the four men from the village who lost their lives fighting for this country during First World and the subsequent four men who lost their lives in the Second World War

Get involved!

Find your local war memorials officer! 

In November 2010, War Memorials Trust approached local authorities across the UK to ask if they had a War Memorials Officer. A War Memorials Officer is the single, or main, point of contact at the council who deals with war memorial issues. They are rarely called 'War Memorials Officer' within the local authority structure as war memorials are just one part of their job but War Memorials Trust uses the phrase to identify the person who deals with war memorials. Please click here to find yours!

Condition Survey Forms available now!

Condition Survey Forms are now available to download on Civic Voice's website, so you can get involved as soon as possible! Click here to download a Condition Survey. Click here to download the cover sheet for the survey.

War Memorial workshops in your area!

Workshops will give you a chance to say what way you think will be best to tackle this war memorials campaign head on and get all the war memorials in your area located. Please see up and coming workshops for your area here. If you are interested in attending a workshop please click on the link for your area.

Play your part in protecting war memorials!

Do you want to get involved in giving your local war memorials greater protection from demolition and changes that damage their historic character? You now have a unique opportunity to achieve this. For the first time the public are being asked to research and write entries for the inclusion on the National Heritage List for England, the statutory list of nationally important buildings and monuments.  Of the tens of thousands of war memorials in England just 1,900 are currently on The List and we want to change this. If you want to get involved email 
and we will contact you about the training workshops taking place.  Don’t pass up this opportunity to protect an important part of your local heritage!

Register your war memorial here!
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