Drawing: Poppies and crosses

War Memorials News

How will we remember them?

17th April 2018


Come to a "Sharing Success" event and learn how others are Remembering the Fallen!

Photograph: Westgate Hall

Westgate Hall, Canterbury, the venue of our next First World War Memorials Programme event

Our next national event to celebrate the work of volunteers involved in the First World War Memorials Programme will be heading to Westgate Hall, Canterbury. Westgate Hall was built by public subscription as a drill hall for the Territorial Army in about 1913. It lies in the heart of Canterbury, just off the high street, and opens onto the Pound Lane car park.

Over the decades it has adapted to the needs and pressures of the time. Troops marched from the Hall to the battlefields of World War One. It survived the bombings of 1944. Then, from serving as a drill hall, it evolved into a venue for conferences, dancing, fairs, blood giving, vote counting, emergencies and community celebrations.

It’s unsurprising then that we have selected it as the venue for our next event.

'Sharing the stories of the First World War Memorials Programme' events are planned for the coming months. It's your chance to discover more about the programme and its achievements to date and hear directly from individuals and community groups who have been contributing to different areas of the programme. During the event, you will also have the chance to hear from Imperial War Museums about the latest developments with the War Memorials Register, from Historic England about listing war memorials and Enriching the List, and from War Memorials Trust about conserving war memorials. If you want to learn how communities in your area are commemorating the fallen, please sign up to a future event below:

If you want to contribute ideas about how we can keep volunteers actively involved in the historic environment, please do share them with Civic Voice at info@civicvoice.org.uk

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Bomber Command heroes gather for opening of the UK's tallest war memorial

Photograph: Bomber Command memorial

The International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln boasts the UK's tallest war memorial at 102ft in height.

Bomber Command veterans from around the world came together to unveil the UK's tallest war memorial, which is the same height as the wingspan of a Lancaster bomber.

Over 300 veterans travelled from near and far for the official opening of the 102ft monument at the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.

The emotional opening ceremony remembered the 57,821 young men and women who died working for the Second World War Bomber Command and whose names are engraved on the memorial.

This follows on from memorials dedicated to airmen in the First and Second World Wars being given heritage protection to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force. Some 14 war memorials, including one to the most decorated British pilot of the First World War and one to the first pilot to shoot down a German zeppelin airship, have been newly listed or had their protected status upgraded.

The new and upgraded listings by Department for Digitial, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England marks a century since the formation of the RAF, the world’s first air force independent of army or navy control.

Read more about the new International Bomber Command Centre here.

Find out how you can add a war memorial to the National Heritage List for England here.

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Battle's Over - take part in the national tribute to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War

Photograph: Soldiers relaxing in full battle gear

On 11th November 2018, the United Kingdom and its friends overseas will mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War. You can play your part in remembering the sacrifice of millions of men and women by taking part in Battle’s Over, a unique series of events in the morning and evening involving organisations and communities the length and breadth of our nation and in many countries abroad.

At 6.00am, the sound of 1000 bagpipes will fill the air before dawn has broken on 11th November 2018. In cities and towns throughout the country individual pipers will play Battle’s O’er - a traditional air played by pipers after a battle, heralding the start of the day’s commemorations.

At 6.55pm the Last Post will be played at many of the 1,000 WWI Beacon sites throughout the United Kingdom, involving young people and others paying their personal tribute to those who gave their lives during the First World War. This will be followed at 7.00pm by the lighting of over 1000 beacons across the UK in remembrance of the end of the war. At 7.05 'Ringing out for Peace' will begin. As beacons blaze around the country, bells in 1,000 churches and cathedrals will ring out in celebration of the end of the First World War.

We encourage you therefore to join the many thousands of people already taking part, by participating in this unique community project, commemorating the bravery and personal sacrifice made by so many, along with celebrating the light that emerged from the darkness of war.

Find out more about how your community can take part in Battle's Over here.

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Will you help War Memorials Trust raise £201,811.11 by 11.11.2018?

Picture: Opening page of War Memorials Trust website

As regular readers of War Memorials News will be aware War Memorials Trust is a charity which works to protect and conserve the UK’s estimated 100,000 war memorials. While many are treasured and cared for by their communities it is estimated that up to 8,000 are in need of attention, suffering the effects of weathering, ageing or vandalism. War Memorials Trust provides free advice to anyone with a war memorial enquiry and offers grants for repair and conservation works. It also educates young people about the importance of war memorials so that they can continue the work to care for them in the future.

War Memorials Trust is dependent on voluntary contributions to undertake its important work. The centenary of World War I has seen an unprecedented demand for the services which the charity provides as communities across the UK seek to repair and conserve their war memorials in good time for the commemorations of the centenary of the Armistice in November 2018.

The need to raise funds so that War Memorials Trust can continue its important work has never been greater. One-off, additional government funding of up to £2 million has been made available towards World War I projects through the centenary which is helping to meet this increased demand.

However, the demand is so great it is beginning to outstrip available funds. This means that some projects may be unsuccessful in obtaining grants, be on a smaller scale or potentially be undertaken using methods which are not in-line with best conservation practice potentially causing damage to war memorials.

War Memorials Trust’s Centenary Campaign aims to raise £201,811.11 by 11.11.2018. Thanks to the support of many generous donors a staggering £157,478.11 has already been raised but we urgently need your help to raise the remaining £44,333 by 11th November 2018.

Any gift of any size will make a valuable contribution to our work during this time of national and international remembrance. We hope that readers of War Memorials News will consider making a donation to this important campaign by visiting the War Memorials Trust website here or by contacting the office on 020 7834 0200. Please help War Memorials Trust ensure that those who are commemorated on our war memorials are never forgotten.

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Names of 100 fallen Great War soldiers not on war memorial

Picture: Loughborough war memorial

Did you know that the names of 100 Loughborough soldiers who gave their lives in the First World War are missing from the Carillon War Memorial in Queen’s Park, Loughborough?

The Carillon War Memorial has 478 names of lost First World War soldiers engraved on metal plaques on its exterior but after recent research by Marigold Cleeve, she discovered that Loughborough in fact lost 578 men in the conflict.

And now an appeal for donations has been launched to get Loughborough’s 100 Missing Soldiers engraved on a memorial to be placed inside the Carillon, to commemorate the centenary of the end of the war in November 2018.

Loughborough is not alone in having names missing from its war memorial, but few places in the UK have such a large number of names not commemorated. Loughborough ranks second to Bathgate, West Lothian, where the war memorial is missing 150 names.

Donations to the appeal would be most gratefully received by the chairman of the museum Mr. Mel Gould, c/o John Storer House, Ward’s End, Loughborough, LE11 3HA.

For further information Tel: 01509 230603

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Discover more about your local war memorial by undertaking a condition survey

Photograph: A group of people, wearing yellow jackets, surveying a war memorial

The First World War Memorials Programme is encouraging people to look more closely at their local war memorials and to take action to ensure they are fitting tributes to those who fought in the First World War or other conflicts.

This tool kit is aimed at helping anyone who wants to assess and record the condition of a war memorial.

Your survey will help to:

Identify whether the memorial is in good condition or whether it needs any repairs/conservation.
Create a record that can be held locally, on the War Memorials Register and War Memorials Online.
Kickstart any action that’s needed to ensure the future of your local memorial.

The tool kit includes three short videos and several help sheets to tell you more about the programme and how to carry out your survey(s). To get started, click here.

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Grants Showcase - Walsall Cenotaph

Photograph: Walsall Cenotaph

Town or City: Walsall

County: West Midlands

Country: England

WMT Reference Number: WM5336

Value of grant: £20740.00

Type of memorial: Freestanding

Type of work: Conservation and repair

Grant scheme: WMT Grant Scheme

Year: 2017

UKNIWM reference number: 17637


Walsall war memorial is located at Bradford Street, Walsall, West Midlands. This memorial is in the form of a Portland limestone ashlar cenotaph in rectangular plan with battered sides, below the cornice, and above a band, is an anchor carved within a wreath and enclosed by a swag. Surmounted by sarcophagus with draped flag. The memorial is enclosed by a retaining wall. The inscription incised in the stone plinth commemorates those who died in World War I and II. The memorial is Grade II listed and located in the Bradford Street Conservation Area

In 2017 a grant of £22,065 was awarded through War Memorials Trust Grants Scheme towards gentle steam cleaning to improve the legibility of the inscription, lime mortar pointing, stone indent repairs to the memorial, surrounding wall and steps. The metal elements of the memorial were also protected with SmartWater as one of the conditions of the grant to deter theft. The actual grant paid was reduced to £20,740 due to slightly lower costs than estimated.

The memorial was unveiled on October 1, 1921 by the Earl of Dartmouth, Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, and dedicated by the Bishop of Stafford Dr Crawford. It was designed by H. N. Martyn & Co Ltd of Cheltenham and cost around £2,000. Bronze tablets were also issued for the Town Hall which listed the names of the dead. The cenotaph stands on a site where a bomb struck from the famous Black Country Zepplelin raids of January 1916. Before the cenotaph was erected £150 was spent on the local area to ensure it was suitable to host the memorial.

Further information:

War Memorials Trust reference WM5336
UK National Inventory of War Memorials: 17637

War Memorials Online: 228420

If you have a concern about this memorial please contact the Trust here

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Logos of those involved

Get Involved!

Photograph: People looking at a war memorial

War Memorials Condition Survey Toolkit

If you can't attend a workshop, Civic Voice has created a toolkit to allow you to learn how to survey the condition of your war memorials. The toolkit takes you through each step and also provides you with all the resources you need to complete a condition survey. See the toolkit here. 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.

Photograph: People in a workshop

War Memorial workshops in your area!

Come to a workshop to discuss the best way to tackle this war memorials campaign head on and get all the war memorials in your area recorded. 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.

Photograph: Group surveying war memorial

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 (see here), the statutory list of nationally important buildings and monuments. Of the tens of thousands of war memorials in England just 2,000 are currently on The List and we want to change this. If you want to get involved email Civic Voice here 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!