The Importance of War Memorials

Posted on on 06 December 2011
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Ray Thompson leads the Clean 2018 campaign for War Memorial Preservation. The following article is from the Borehamwood and Elstree Times, in which Ray Thompson expresses the reasons why he believes war memorials must be maintained.

"As we approach another Remembrance Sunday, the number of people in Britain who have experienced a world at war has, naturally, lessened.

We must turn our attention to that part of our heritage around which our sentiments at this time of year are focussed; our war memorials.

Most war memorials have been with us for around 90 years and in many cases the cracks are starting to show. In 1923 the War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act gave councils the power to direct public money at war memorial upkeep should they choose. However, this legislation has never compelled them to do so.

My suggestion for a way forward is the creation of a national war memorial restoration fund; money from central Government being made available to local authorities to spend specifically on war memorial maintenance and improvement.

To be successful the public needs to make an easy “link” with such a campaign and history has provided us with a golden opportunity to do just that.

The 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War will be upon us in August 2014 and the remembrance will culminate in the centenary of the Armistice in November 2018 — a relevant deadline for such an effort. However, planning and decision-making needs to get under way now.

Let’s harness the outrage we express when war memorials are urinated upon, used as skate parks, sprayed with graffiti or have their plaques stolen.

Let’s remember in the best possible way all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice; by renovating our war memorials — which our forebears constructed in honour of those who died."

Visit Ray Thompson's website to have view more information and to sign his e-petition.

Images courtesy of the Clean 2018 website.

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