Day 11 – 7/9/21 – National Memorial Arboretum

Set in 150 acres of the Staffordshire countryside, bordered by the rivers Trent and Tame, just 5 miles north of Lichfield is The National Memorial Arboretum.

The brainchild of Commander David Childs CBE who wanted a national centre of Remembrance, the then Prime Minister, John Major, launched an appeal to raise funds in 1994.

Work began on reclaimed gravel plains in 1997, land donated by Lafarge, a UK cement and aggregates company.

The NMA boasts 30,000 trees and 350 memorials to the Armed Forces, civilian organisations and volunteer bodies.  These include The Association of Jewish ex-servicemen and women, The Berlin Airlift Monument, The Boys Brigade, and The Shot at Dawn Memorial dedicated to the 306 British, Commonwealth and allied soldiers shot for desertion and cowardice.  The real cause of their offences is now known to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Opened on 16 May 2001 by HRH Duchess of Kent, NMA is a registered charity in its own right but is part of the family of charities of the Royal British Legion.

At the heart of the Arboretum is the Armed Forces Memorial, dedicated to over 16,000 of the Armed Services who have fallen since WW2 in conflict or to terrorism. At 11 am on 11 November the sun shines through two slits in the outer and inner walls, casting a shaft of light over the wreath in the centre.

Also at 11 am each day there is an act of Remembrance at the Millennium Chapel of Peace. Following a 2-minute silence, the Last Post and Reveille are played and there is an introductory talk on The National Memorial Arboretum.

Our route takes us to The Arboretum on Monday 6th September, where we will hold a short service of remembrance and spend a few quiet moments in reflection, before continuing on our epic journey to Land’s End.

Published by heroJOGLErelay

Fundraising for Help For Heroes with a "long way round" JOGLE route in August/September 2021

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