Thursday, 28 July 2011

National Memorial Arboretum

I took a day out to head up to the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire and was quite surpised by what I found!

To quote the website "The National Memorial Arboretum was conceived as a living tribute to the war time generations of the twentieth century and as a gift to their memory for future generations to reflect upon and enjoy."  But it's so much more ...

First thing to say is that visiting any memorial on this scale is a humbling and sobering experience.  To walk through The Armed Forces Memorial and to see all the names engraved on the walls ...

Armed Forces

Armed Forces

Surprisingly, for me anyway, was the variety of memorials installed at the site - over 160 in total.  Alongside the numerous memorials from the various branches and organsiations that make up our armed services are other memorials from organisations like the Royal National Lifeboat Institution right through to the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain.

Showmen’s Guild of
Great Britain Memorial


Military Police

Photographers are made very welcome.  There is even an annual photographic competition run by the friends of the arboretum which was pointed out to me by one of the guides, along with a few suggestions of where good photographs can be found.  And she wasn't wrong - following her advice I captured my favourite image from the day - I may even enter it in the competition!

'Shot at Dawn' Commemorates over 300 British and Commonwealth soldiers
who were shot for desertion or cowardice during the First World War

It's a large site (150 acres) and there's so much to see I only really scratched the surface so well worth a return visit.

If you get the opportunity to go I'd urge you to do so - admission is free.