Friday, August 31, 2012

Deccy's Day Trips

Whilst we were visiting Ganny this last week, Mum & Ganny had a trip to the National Memorial Aboretum near Alrewas in Staffordshire. The Arboretum has in excess of 50,000 trees and is a living tribute that acknowledges the sacrifices made by the armed and civil services of our country.

The centrepiece of the Arboretum is the Armed Forces Memorial, which carries the names of those killed on active service or terrorist attack since January 1st 1948. To date there is in excess of 16000 names on the wall.

It is a fantastic piece of architecture which draws its inspiration from prehistoric monuments. The alignment and axis of the memorial ensures that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun rays stream through the open door of one of the sculptures illuminating a central wreath.


The sculpture shows a woman and a Gurkha preparing the body of a soldier for burial whilst  another carves the soldier's name on the wall. The figure before the open door points to a world beyond where the soldier will rest.

There are over 500 memorials in total and the Arboretum is a lovely place to wander around on a sunny day.

The Polar Bear Memorial is dedicated to the 49th Light Infantry West Riding Division who were stationed in Iceland in WWII

The Anglo-Japanese Peace Grove

The Royal Air Force Regiment Memorial

Over 30 metres of the original track of the Burma Railway are laid at the Arboretum as a tribute to those forced to construct the infamous "Railway of Death"

An original signpost from the Burma railway showing 152km to Burma and 263km to Siam (Thailand)

The War Widows' Rose Garden

The thing that Mum and Ganny wanted to see most of all was the The British Berlin Airlift Memorial. My Granddad served in the RAF and flew on the Berlin Airlift in 1948 / 49.

The monument is a tribute to those who took part in the Berlin Airlift - an operation to deliver food and supplies to a besieged Berlin between 1948 and 1949. The operation ended on May 12th 1949 - which was Granddad's 21st birthday.

 I wasn't allowed to go on the trip as dogs aren't allowed in the Arboretum. That seems like an awful waste of 50 000 trees to me..hehe!  Uncle Terry & Aunty Jean came to look after me and we had a lovely time in Ganny's garden.

You can't beat sunshine and a pigs ear!