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Wendy and I visited the National Memorial Arboretum, near Burton – upon – Trent. It’s about half an hour’s drive from our house, but never gotten around to it.

The NMA is a National centre of remembrance and a lasting memorial

  • Those who have given their lives in the service of their country
  • All who have served and those who have suffered as a result of conflict
  • Others who for specific or appropriate reasons are commemorated on the site

It is free to visit, although there is a “suggested” donation of £5. The gift shop is one of the first things you pass then the restaurant before you get out into the grounds themselves. All designed to liberate you of some money, although the restaurant is good quality, if not a little pricey. The gift shop likewise is a little on the expensive side, but I really could spend a hundred pounds in there quite easily.

If you wanted a visit and not buy anything or donate it will still cost you at least £2.50 to park your car there, but that is only for 2 hours. Over 2 hours it’s £3.00. I guess it’s doesn’t get government funding then and it does say on the wall in the shop that the centre needs over £3000  a day to keep running.

Well on the day we went it was a rainy, blustery day and the restaurant was packed so I think they would meet there daily fundraising goal.

Through the two slits in the Armed Forces Memorial, a shaft of sunlight falls on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month. Commemorating the Armistice of the First World War.

There are over 200 Memorials at the Arboretum and these are the steps up to just one of them, ok it’s the most stand-out one there but it’s only one of them.

And at the top of the steps here is the centre of the Armed Forces Memorial

On each wall are the names of Members of the Armed Forces who have been killed in the line of duty since the Second World War.

Every wall bar one has names like this. It reads like a book, the year is at the top then underneath, in order of service seniority, are the names of the dead in Royal Navy, Army then Royal Air Force.

One of the six walls

One of the Bronze Scupltures

One interesting name to note is the Queen’s cousin, Louis Mountbatten of Burma who was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979 while sailing .

Mountbatten of Burma

We will go back for a day’s visit soon because a couple of hours just is not enough time to take it all in. In addition to all of the memorials are these small tokens to remember a loved one…

Here is the Basra Memorial Wall for all the British Servicemen and women who died in the Iraq Conflict.

I was glad to see a memorial to my old regiment there, pictured below.

It is a peaceful place to remember loved ones and for others it’s a very good day out to just look at all of the different memorials. We will go back there soon to have a proper look around.

We even found out there was a profession of “Batwoman” in the Women’s Royal Auxiliary Air force, we have proof look…..

So after a interesting afternoon we decided to go home as the sky was looking a little exciting..