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NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM STAFFORDSHIRE

Since planting began in 1997, the National Memorial Arboretum has been a special place honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation in many different ways. It’s not a cemetery. It’s a place of life, represented by the 50,000 trees planted here, where older and younger generations alike can wander and wonder.Covering 150 acres, the Arboretum has something for everyone. For some it’s a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy the trees; for others it's a peaceful and beautiful place to remember loved ones, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The trees and the more than 300 dedicated memorials on our site make the Arboretum a living tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of this country.

Importantly, the focus isn’t totally military. There is a large area devoted to Police who have fallen while on duty, as well as other areas devoted to the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services. National charities representing those who have died in particular circumstances, including children, are also to be found in the Arboretum grounds. The Arboretum was the brainchild of Commander David Childs CBE who wished to see established a national focus for Remembrance. Following a meeting with Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, an appeal was launched in 1994 by the then Prime Minister, John Major.

The future of the project became assured when three proposals were agreed. These were: for the site to be the location of the Armed Forces Memorial; for the Ministry of Defence to pay a significant grant-in-aid to allow for free entry and that The Royal British Legion would accept the gift of the site as the focus for the Nation's year-round Remembrance.

The project began with no money, no land, no staff and no trees. The National Lottery, in the form of the Millennium Commission, granted some forty per cent of the funds needed and this was matched by thousands of donations, both large and small, from a wide variety of organisations both military and civilian, men and women, corporate and voluntary.

All I can say is that you need to visit the memorial, it is beautifully presented and we spent half a day there just taking it the various memorials and landscape of the place. Of course with so much going on it is a great location to photograph, beig a holiday I had the Fuji 100s, a bit limited with the 35mm fixed lens but still producing some atmospheric photos.
BLOG 2015