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PLEASE VIEW FLYERS AT BOTTOM OF `ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTERS 1. PAGE.  THANKYOU

Association Newsletters.  2.

If you are not in receipt of the WFRA ENewsletter and have internet connection,please contact

RHQ Mercian Nottingham (rhqmercian.notts@btconnect.com) and we will send you the ENews update.

THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND SHERWOOD FORESTERS REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis

...................................................

20 November 2020      WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 11 Issue 52

OBITUARY

We regret to announce the death on 14 November of Wendy, wife of Major Les Preston.

His address if you with to send condolences is Les@skynet4595.myzen.co.uk

CONGRATULATIONS

Happy Birthday and Congratulations to John 'Jack' Hill who has recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
John was born in Dudley on 2 November 1920.
He served with The Worcestershire Regiment from 1940 to 1946 taking part in the North Africa, Sicily and Italian Campaigns, he also served in Austria.

001 THE SHERWOOD FORESTERS OFFICERS CLUB - BADAJOZ LUNCH 2021
The annual Badajoz Lunch is booked for the Army and Navy Club (The Rag) for Saturday 10th April 2021.  Please note that this a revertion to the original planned date for this event.

002 VETERAN HELP SITES

As the Pandemic continues to impact tremendously on all our lives it is more important that our veterans know how to get help if they find themselves struggling. If you know one of your veteran friends struggling please encourage them to get help from one of the sites below.

VETERANS GATEWAY

The Veterans Gateway is still operating as normal, you can download their App at Google Play or the Apple App store. Also you can call them direct on 0808 802 1212 or visit them on line at www.veteransgateway.org.uk

SSAFA

SSAFA are still providing a service to support our veterans, you can call the on 0800 731 4880 or visit them on line at www.ssafa.org.uk/about-us/contact-us You can live web chat with them on line via the link on this page.

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION

The Royal British Legion continue to provide support, you can call 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Also visit their web site at www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/get-in-touch which also provides a chat online link.

COMBAT STRESS

Combat Stress have a 24hr help line on 0800 138 1619 and at their web site www.combatstress.org.uk/get-help

TOGERTHERALL-THE BIG WHITE WALL

Should you wish to discuss mental health issues anonymously then The Big White Wall has changed its name to Togetherall. The web site could provide you support (note you might need to register) at https://togetherall.com/en-gb/big-white-wall/

HELP FOR HEROES

Help for Heroes are also providing support for a number of issues at their web site at https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/

BLESMA

If BLESMA you have lost a limb in service or have lost the use of limbs, suffered permanent loss of speech, hearing, or sight whilst serving or as a result of service in any branch of Her Majesty’s Forces or Auxiliary Forces you may be eligible for Membership to BLESMA. If you have lost a limb, or use of a limb through traumatic incident or sight of an eye other than through service-related causes or if you are of civilian status and have lost a limb or sight of an eye as a result of War Service or enemy action you may be eligible for Membership. If you want more information please call 020 8590 1124 Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm, or visit their web site at https://blesma.org/

VETERANS UK

If you require information on Pensions, Medals or the new veterans Rail Card then please visit the Veterans UK web site at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk

.......................................................

13 November 2020      WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 11 Issue 51

OBITUARY

It is with great sadness that I report the death of 24049042 LCpl Frederick C Newbold.  Fred enlisted in 1965 and served with C Coy 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters in Colchester, Munster and Minden.  He transferred to The Devon and Dorset Regiment in 1970 and left the army in 1977.

001 VETERAN HELP SITES

As the Pandemic continues to impact tremendously on all our lives it is more important that our veterans know how to get help if they find themselves struggling. If you know one of your veteran friends struggling please encourage them to get help from one of the sites below.

VETERANS GATEWAY

The Veterans Gateway is still operating as normal, you can download their App at Google Play or the Apple App store. Also you can call them direct on 0808 802 1212 or visit them on line at www.veteransgateway.org.uk

SSAFA

SSAFA are still providing a service to support our veterans, you can call the on 0800 731 4880 or visit them on line at www.ssafa.org.uk/about-us/contact-us You can live web chat with them on line via the link on this page.

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION

The Royal British Legion continue to provide support, you can call 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Also visit their web site at www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/get-in-touch which also provides a chat online link.

COMBAT STRESS

Combat Stress have a 24hr help line on 0800 138 1619 and at their web site www.combatstress.org.uk/get-help

TOGERTHERALL-THE BIG WHITE WALL

Should you wish to discuss mental health issues anonymously then The Big White Wall has changed its name to Togetherall. The web site could provide you support (note you might need to register) at https://togetherall.com/en-gb/big-white-wall/

HELP FOR HEROES

Help for Heroes are also providing support for a number of issues at their web site at https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/

BLESMA

If BLESMA you have lost a limb in service or have lost the use of limbs, suffered permanent loss of speech, hearing, or sight whilst serving or as a result of service in any branch of Her Majesty’s Forces or Auxiliary Forces you may be eligible for Membership to BLESMA. If you have lost a limb, or use of a limb through traumatic incident or sight of an eye other than through service-related causes or if you are of civilian status and have lost a limb or sight of an eye as a result of War Service or enemy action you may be eligible for Membership. If you want more information please call 020 8590 1124 Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm, or visit their web site at https://blesma.org/

VETERANS UK

If you require information on Pensions, Medals or the new veterans Rail Card then please visit the Veterans UK web site at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk
 

002 LOST CONTACT

Bob Leeson would like to get in touch with any 'Worcester' who is still around. Bob is still active and served with the 1st.Batt. A coy.  His email address is rbl.pentwyn@gmail.com

 

003 THE CENOTAPH

This week marks the centenary of the replacement of the original wood and plaster Cenotaph with the one stone one that we are so familiar with today.  The original was a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War, and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's official national war memorial.

 

Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the permanent structure was built from Portland stone between 1919 and 1920 by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts, replacing Lutyens's earlier wood-and-plaster cenotaph in the same location. An annual Service of Remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day) each year. Lutyens's cenotaph design has been reproduced elsewhere in the UK and in other places of historical British allegiance including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda and Hong Kong.

Background

The First World War (1914–1918) produced casualties on a previously unseen scale. Over 1.1 million men from the British Empire were killed. In its aftermath, thousands of war memorials were built across Britain and the Empire, and on the former battlefields. Amongst the most prominent designers of war memorials was Sir Edwin Lutyens, described by Historic England as "the foremost architect of his day".   Lutyens established his reputation designing country houses for wealthy clients around the turn of the 20th century and became a public figure as the designer of much of New Delhi, the new capital of British India. The war had a profound effect on Lutyens and following it he devoted much of his time to the commemoration of casualties. By the time he was commissioned for the cenotaph, he was already acting as an adviser to the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC). 

Lutyens's first war memorial was the Rand Regiments Memorial in Johannesburg, South Africa, dedicated to casualties of the Second Boer War (1899–1902). His first commission for a memorial to the First World War came from Southampton. The word "cenotaph" derives from the Greek term "kenotaphion". Lutyens first encountered the term in connection with Munstead Wood, the house he designed for Gertrude Jekyll in the 1890s. There he designed a garden seat in the form of a rectangular block of elm set on stone, which Charles Liddell—a friend of Lutyens and Jekyll and a librarian at the British Museum—christened the "Cenotaph of Sigismunda". Cenotaphs were common in Ancient Greece, where they were built when it was impossible to recover a body after the battle, as the Greeks placed great cultural importance on the proper burial of their war dead. A decision had been made early in the First World War that the British dead would not be repatriated, and would be buried close to where they fell. Lutyens remembered the term when working on Southampton's memorial in early 1919, where he proposed a cenotaph after his first design was rejected on cost grounds. He broke with the Ancient Greek convention, though, in that his designs for London's and Southampton's cenotaphs contained no explicit reference to battle. The end result (unveiled a week before the permanent version of the Whitehall cenotaph) lacks the subtlety of Whitehall's monument, but introduces several design elements common in Lutyens's subsequent memorials, including Whitehall. 

In 1917, Lutyens travelled to France as an advisor to the fledgling IWGC and was horrified by the scale of destruction. The experience influenced his later designs for war memorials and led him to the conclusion that a different form of architecture was required to properly memorialise the dead. He felt that neither realism nor expressionism could adequately capture the atmosphere at the end of the war. 

Origins: the temporary Cenotaph

The war formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919 (though fighting ceased with the Armistice of 11 November 1918), and the British government planned to hold a victory parade (also referred to as a peace celebration) in London on 19 July, which would involve soldiers marching down Whitehall. The initial design for what would become the cenotaph was one of a number of temporary structures erected along the parade's route. The prime minister, David Lloyd George, learnt that the French authorities' plans for a similar parade in Paris included a saluting point for the marching troops and was keen to replicate the idea for the British parade. How Lutyens became involved is unclear, but he was close friends with Sir Alfred Mond and Sir Lionel Earle (respectively the government minister and senior civil servant at the Office of Works, which was responsible for public building projects) and it seems likely that one or both men discussed the idea with Lutyens. Lloyd George summoned Lutyens[a] and asked him to design a "catafalque", which would serve a similar purpose at the British parade. Lloyd George emphasised that the structure was to be non-denominational. Lutyens met with Sir Frank Baines, chief architect at the Office of Works, the same day to sketch his idea for the Cenotaph and sketched it again for his friend Lady Sackville over dinner that night. Both sketches show the Cenotaph almost as-built. 

Although Lutyens apparently produced the design very quickly, he had had the concept in mind for some time, as evidenced by his design for Southampton Cenotaph and his work for the IWGC. Lutyens and Mond had previously worked together on a design for a temporary war shrine in Hyde Park during the war. Though the shrine was never built, the design started Lutyens thinking about commemorative architecture, and architectural historian Allan Greenberg speculates that Mond may have discussed the concept of a memorial with Lutyens prior to the meeting with the prime minister. According to Tim Skelton, author of Lutyens and the Great War, "If it was not to be on Whitehall then the Cenotaph as we know it would have appeared somewhere else in due course". Several of Lutyens's sketches survive, which show that he experimented with several minor changes to the design, including a flaming urn at the top of the Cenotaph and sculptures of soldiers or lions at the base (similar to the lion heads on Southampton Cenotaph). 

Lutyens submitted his final design to the Office of Works in early July, and on 7 July received confirmation that the design had been approved by the foreign secretary, Lord Curzon, who was chairman of the committee responsible for organising the victory celebrations. The unveiling, described in The Times as a "quiet" and "unofficial" ceremony, took place on 18 July 1919, the day before the Victory Parade. Lutyens was not invited. During the parade, 15,000 soldiers and 1,500 officers marched past and saluted the Cenotaph—among them were American General John J. Pershing and French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, as well as the British officers Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty. The Cenotaph quickly captured the public imagination. Repatriation of the dead had been forbidden since the early days of the war, so the cenotaph came to represent the absent dead and served as a substitute for a tomb. Beginning almost immediately after the Victory Parade and continuing for days afterwards, members of the public began laying flowers and wreaths around the Cenotaph's base. Within a week, an estimated 1.2 million people came to the cenotaph to pay their respects to the dead, and huge quantities of flowers were laid at the base of the monument. According to The Times, "no feature of the victory march in London made a deeper impression than the Cenotaph".

Reconstruction in stone

Suggestions that the temporary cenotaph be re-built as a permanent structure began almost immediately, coming from members of the public and national newspapers. Four days after the parade, William Ormsby-Gore, Member of Parliament for Stafford and an army officer who fought in the war and was part of the British delegation at Versailles, questioned Mond about the Cenotaph in the House of Commons, and asked whether a permanent replacement was planned. Ormsby-Gore was supported by multiple other members. Mond announced that the decision rested with the cabinet, but promised to pass on the house's support. The following week, The Times published an editorial calling for a permanent replacement (though it felt that there was a risk of vehicles crashing into the Cenotaph in its original location and suggested it be built on nearby Horse Guards Parade); multiple letters to London and national newspapers followed. The cabinet sought Lutyens's opinion, which was that the original site had "been qualified by the salutes of Foch and the allied armies" and "no other site would give this pertinence". The cabinet bowed to public pressure, approving the re-building in stone, and in the original location, at its meeting on 30 July. 

Concerns remained about the Cenotaph's location. Another editorial in The Times suggested siting it in Parliament Square, away from traffic, a location that was supported by the local authorities. The issue was again raised in the House of Commons, and Ormsby-Gore led the calls for the Cenotaph to be rebuilt on its original spot, stating, to acclaim, that he was certain that this option was the most popular with the public. Opposition to the site eventually quietened and the construction contract was awarded to Holland, Hannen & Cubitts. Construction began in May 1920. 

Mond gave Lutyens the opportunity to make any amendments to the design before work began on the permanent Cenotaph. The architect submitted his proposed modifications on 1 November, which were approved the same day. He replaced the real laurel wreaths with stone sculptures and added entasis—subtle curvature, reminiscent of the Parthenon in Greece, so that the vertical surfaces taper inwards and the horizontals form arcs of a circle. He wrote to Mond:

I have made slight alterations to meet the conditions demanded by the setting out of its lines on subtle curvatures. The difference is almost imperceptible but sufficient to give it a sculpturesque quality and a life, that cannot pertain to rectangular blocks of stone. 

Lutyens had previously used entasis for his Stone of Remembrance, which appears in most large IWGC cemeteries. This was accepted without issue. The only other significant alteration Lutyens proposed was the replacement of the silk flags on the temporary Cenotaph with painted stone, fearing that the fabric would quickly become worn and look untidy. He was supported on this by Mond and engaged the sculptor Francis Derwent Wood for assistance, but the change was rejected by the cabinet. A diary entry by Lady Sackville from August 1920 records the architect complaining bitterly about the change, though documents in The National Archives suggest that he had been aware of it six months prior. 

Design

The Cenotaph, made entirely from Portland stone, is a pylon on a rectangular plan, with gradually diminishing tiers, culminating in a sculpted tomb chest (the empty tomb) on which is placed a laurel wreath. Its mass decreases with its height, the sides becoming narrower towards the bottom of the coffin than at the top of the base. The base of the cenotaph is in four stages from the top of the steps starting with the plinth, which connects to the base block. The plinth projects 3 inches (7.6 centimetres) from the base block on all four sides. Above it is the transition moulding which is in three stages-torus (semi-circular), cyma reversa, and cavetto, taking the lower part of the structure just over 6 feet (1.8 metres) above the ground. Greenberg describes this section as "quietly establishing the memorial's overall character: an outward appearance of simple repose which, on close observation, shows itself to be dependent on the more complex forms of its masses". At the top, the coffin is connected to the main structure by its own base of two steps, the transition smoothed by a torus moulding between the bottom step and the pylon. The coffin lid finishes with a cornice, appearing to be supported by ovolo (curved decorative moulding beneath the edge), which casts a shadow over the coffin; it is crowned by another laurel wreath on a raised platform, indented in the middle to echo the placement of the wreaths on the side. The bottom of the structure is moulded onto three diminishing steps on an island in the centre of Whitehall surrounded by government buildings. The cenotaph is austere, containing very little decoration. At each end, on the second tier below the tomb, is a laurel wreath, the work of sculptor Francis Derwent Wood, and on the sides is the inscription THE GLORIOUS DEAD. The only other inscription is the dates of the world wars in Roman numerals—the first on the ends, above the wreath, and the second on the sides. 

None of the lines on the pylon are straight. The sides are not parallel but are subtly curved using precise geometry so as to be barely visible to the naked eye (entasis). If extended, the apparently vertical surfaces would meet 1,000 feet (300 m) above the ground and the apparently horizontal surfaces are sections of a sphere whose centre would be 900 feet (270 m) below ground. The use of curvature and diminishing tiers is intended to draw the eye upwards in a spiralling direction, first to the inscription, then to the top of the flags, to the wreath, and finally to the coffin at the top. Many of these elements were not present in Lutyens's early sketches. In his sketch for Lady Sackville, he omitted most of the setbacks, and had the wreaths on the sides hanging from pegs, while another drawing he included an urn on top of the coffin and sculptures of lion flanking the base (similar to the pine cones on Southampton Cenotaph). Other experimental designs omit the flags, and one included a recumbent effigy atop the coffin (in place of an urn). 

It is 35 feet (11 m) tall and weighs 120 tonnes (120,000 kg). 

The Cenotaph is flanked on each side by flags of the United Kingdom which Lutyens had wanted to be carved in stone. He was overruled and cloth flags were used, though Lutyens went on to use stone flags on several of his other war memorials, painted on Rochdale Cenotaph and Northampton War Memorial (among others), and unpainted at Étaples and Villers-Bretonneux IWGC cemeteries.[24] In the years following 1919, the Cenotaph displayed a Union Flag, a White Ensign and a Red Ensign on one side and a Union Flag, a White Ensign, and a Blue Ensign on the other side. On 1 April 1943, an RAF Ensign was substituted for the White Ensign on the west side. The flags displayed as of 2007 represent the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Merchant Navy. The Blue Ensign represents the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and other government services; it is possible that it was also intended to represent Dominion forces. Initially the flags were changed for cleaning every six to eight weeks, but between 1922 and 1923 the practice gradually stopped until letters to the media led to its reintroduction. The initial lifespan of a flag was set at five periods of three months. By 1939, they were changed ten times a year, each flag washed twice before being disposed of. By 1924, it was decided that all discarded flags would be sent to the Imperial War Museum who could redistribute them to properly accredited organisations.

Unveiling
 
The architects waived their fee for designing the cenotaph, meaning that it cost £7,325 (equivalent to £296,400 in 2019) to build. Construction began on 19 January 1920, and the original flags were sent to the Imperial War Museum. 

No date was announced for the completion of the Cenotaph at first, but the government were keen to have it completed in time for Remembrance Day (11 November). At a late stage in the planning, the government decided to hold a funeral for an unidentified soldier exhumed from a grave in France, known as the Unknown Warrior, and inter him in Westminster Abbey, and the decision was taken to make the unveiling part of the funeral procession. George V unveiled the Cenotaph at 11 am on 11 November, this time with Lutyens in attendance, along with the prime minister and Randall Davidson, the Archbishop of Canterbury before proceeding to the abbey. 

The unveiling ceremony was part of a larger procession bringing the Unknown Warrior to be laid to rest in his tomb nearby in Westminster Abbey. The funeral procession route passed the Cenotaph, where the waiting King laid a wreath on the Unknown Warrior's gun-carriage before proceeding to unveil the memorial which was draped in large Union Flags, and an abridged version of Sir Edward Elgar's setting of Lawrence Binyon's poem 'For the Fallen' was sung. 

The public response to the newly unveiled memorial exceeded even that to the temporary Cenotaph in the aftermath of the armistice. Whitehall was closed to traffic for several days after the ceremony and members of the public began to file past the Cenotaph and lay flowers at its base. Within a week, it was 10 feet (3 metres) deep in flowers and an estimated 1.25 million people had visited it so far. 
Later history

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, it was customary for men to doff their hats when passing the Cenotaph. In the later 1920s, several proposals emerged for modifications to the Cenotaph, including the addition of life-size bronze statues at its corners, and installing a light inside the wreath at the top to emit a vertical beam, but all were rejected by the Office of Works on Lutyens's advice. The statues in particular would have added a literal element to the memorial which Greenberg believed would have been at odds with its "open symbolism and abstract character".

Parts of the temporary cenotaph were initially preserved for the collections of the Imperial War Museum, for whom it was acquired by Charles Ffoulkes. It was displayed at Crystal Palace and then moved to the later homes of the museum, being the site for the museum's Armistice memorial services held there from 1922. The temporary cenotaph was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War. The Imperial War Museum collections include an example of wooden money collection boxes in the shape of the Cenotaph made from wood from the In September 1920, the announcement came that the Cenotaph would indeed be unveiled on 11 November, the second anniversary of the Armistice, and that the act would be performed by the king. temporary cenotaph by St Dunstan's in around 1919 to 1923. 
Whitehall, along with other areas of London, was the scene of celebrations on 8 May 1945 when victory in Europe was declared in the Second World War. More formal processions past the Cenotaph took place during the London Victory Celebrations on 8 June 1946. The Cenotaph had been designed to commemorate the British Empire military dead of the First World War, but this was later extended to include those that died in the Second World War. The dates of the Second World War were added in Roman numerals on the sides of the memorial (1939—MCMXXXIX; and 1945—MCMXLV), and the memorial was unveiled for a second time on Sunday 10 November 1946 by King George VI. The memorial is now also used to remember the dead of later wars in which British servicemen and servicewomen have fought. The Cenotaph was designated a Grade I listed building on 5 February 1970. 

In 1921, Lutyens was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' highest award, the Royal Gold Medal for his body of work. Presenting the medal, the institute's president, John Simpson, described the Cenotaph as "the most remarkable of all [Lutyens's] creations".

The Cenotaph has been vandalised several times during political protests. In a 2010 student protest, a man climbed the base and swung from one of the flags. In 2020, the base was vandalised with spray paint during Black Lives Matter protests, and the following day a protester attempted to set fire to one of the Union Flags on the Cenotaph. As a result, the Cenotaph was covered up temporarily to prevent any further vandalism. On 11 November 2020, Extinction Rebellion held an unauthorised protest at the Cenotaph that was condemned by politicians and the Royal British Legion. 

Remembrance services
 
The Cenotaph is the site of the annual National Service of Remembrance held at 11:00 am on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day). From 1919 until 1945, the remembrance service was held on Armistice Day, but since 1945 it has been held on Remembrance Sunday. Uniformed service personnel (excluding fire and ambulance personnel) salute the Cenotaph as they pass. 

Although the Armistice Day ceremony fell away during the Second World War, in recent years the tradition of holding a ceremony at the Cenotaph at 11 am on 11 November has been reinstated by The Western Front Association, a UK-based charity dedicated to perpetuating the memory of those who served in the First World War. 

The first such modern ceremony was held on 11 November 1919, following a suggestion by King George V for a two-minute silence across the United Kingdom and a ceremony to take place in London. A wreath was also laid by a representative of the French President, and soldiers and sailors provided a guard of honour. There were also processions past the Cenotaph organised by veterans' associations. 

Annual remembrance services also take place at the Cenotaph on other days of the year. These include the regimental parade held by the Royal Tank Regiment on the Sunday following Remembrance Sunday. This is the closest to Cambrai Day (20 November), the anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai that was one of the earliest massed deployments of British tanks. On Anzac Day, 25 April, a Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade is held at the Cenotaph at 11 am, followed by a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. An annual parade and service is also held by the Combined Irish Regiments Association to commemorate the war dead of the Irish regiments that were disbanded on 12 June 1922 after the First World War. This parade is now held on the Sunday in June that follows the Queen's Birthday Parade. The Belgian Parade at the Cenotaph has taken place yearly since 1934 on the Sunday preceding the Belgian National Day (21 July). Belgium is the only nation that is allowed to parade its troops in uniform and carrying arms in central London. The War Widows Association of Great Britain hold their Annual Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on the day before Remembrance Sunday. 

Influence on other war memorials

Lutyens's first cenotaph design was for Southampton Cenotaph, which was unveiled on 6 November 1920, while the permanent monument on Whitehall was still under construction. Lutyens's design became highly influential, and memorials named "cenotaph", many based to some extent on Lutyens's and some by Lutyens himself, were erected in towns and cities across Britain and in many many other places, predominantly in the British Empire. Two smaller versions that included several additions and differences were built as regimental memorials in England—the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Cenotaph in Maidstone, Kent, and the Royal Berkshire Regiment War Memorial in Reading, Berkshire. These were unveiled on 30 July 1921 and 13 September 1921 respectively. The Midland Railway War Memorial, Derby, was unveiled on 15 December 1921. The Middlesbrough cenotaph, derived from Lutyens's design, was unveiled on 11 November 1922. The Rochdale Cenotaph was unveiled on 26 November 1922. The Hong Kong cenotaph, an almost exact replica, was unveiled in 1923 between the Statue Square and the City Hall in Hong Kong. 

The Manchester Cenotaph in Manchester, England (also the work of Lutyens), was unveiled on 12 July 1924 and has similarities and differences. The Welch Regimental War Memorial, in the form of a Lutyens 'Whitehall' cenotaph, was unveiled at Maindy Barracks, Cardiff, on 11 November 1924. The Toronto Cenotaph was unveiled on 11 November 1925 and is modelled on Whitehall's design. A two-thirds scale copy was unveiled in Hamilton, Bermuda, on 6 May 1925. A close copy of the Whitehall Cenotaph was unveiled in November 1929 in Auckland, New Zealand. An exact replica stands in London, Ontario, Canada, and was unveiled on 11 November 1934.

 

004 VETERANS SUPPORT

The following are available to support veterans and their families who may be experiencing mental health difficulties;

Forcesline Tel: 0800 731 4880 (between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday)
Combat Stress (24 hours)
Veterans and their families; Tel: 0800 138 1619
Serving personnel and their families; Tel: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123el: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123

..........................................

06 November 2020    WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 11 Issue 50

The Unknown Warrior

Origin

The British grave of The Unknown Warrior (often known as 'The Tomb of The Unknown Warrior') holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, London on 11 November 1920, simultaneously with a similar interment of a French unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in France, making both graves the first to honour the unknown dead of the First World War. It is the first example of a tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The coffin of the Unknown Warrior in state in the Abbey in 1920, before burial.

The idea of a Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was first conceived in 1916 by the Reverend David Railton, who, while serving as an army chaplain on the Western Front, had seen a grave marked by a rough cross, which bore the pencil-written legend 'An Unknown British Soldier'.
He wrote to the Dean of Westminster in 1920 proposing that an unidentified British soldier from the battlefields in France be buried with due ceremony in Westminster Abbey "amongst the kings" to represent the many hundreds of thousands of Empire dead. The idea was strongly supported by the Dean and the Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
 
Selection, arrival and ceremony

Burial of The Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, with King George V in attendance, 1920.

Arrangements were placed in the hands of Lord Curzon of Kedleston who prepared in committee the service and location. Suitable remains were exhumed from various battlefields and brought to the chapel at Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise near Arras, France on the night of 7 November 1920. The bodies were received by the Reverend George Kendall OBE. Brigadier L.J. Wyatt and Lieutenant Colonel E.A.S. Gell of the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries went into the chapel alone. The remains were then placed in four plain coffins each covered by Union Flags: the two officers did not know from which battlefield any individual soldier had come. Brigadier Wyatt with closed eyes rested his hand on one of the coffins. The other soldiers were then taken away for reburial by Kendall.

The coffin of the unknown warrior then stayed at the chapel overnight and on the afternoon of 8 November, it was transferred under guard and escorted by Kendall, with troops lining the route, from Ste Pol to the medieval castle within the ancient citadel at Boulogne. For the occasion, the castle library was transformed into a chapelle ardente: a company from the French 8th Infantry Regiment, recently awarded the Légion d'Honneur en masse, stood vigil overnight.

The following morning, two undertakers entered the castle library and placed the coffin into a casket of the oak timbers of trees from Hampton Court Palace. The casket was banded with iron, and a medieval crusader's sword chosen by King George V personally from the Royal Collection was affixed to the top and surmounted by an iron shield bearing the inscription 'A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914–1918 for King and Country'.
The casket was then placed onto a French military wagon, drawn by six black horses. At 10:30 a.m., all the church bells of Boulogne tolled; the massed trumpets of the French cavalry and the bugles of the French infantry played Aux Champs (the French "Last Post"). Then, the mile-long procession—led by one thousand local schoolchildren and escorted by a division of French troops—made its way down to the harbour.

At the quayside, Marshal Foch saluted the casket before it was carried up the gangway of the destroyer, HMS Verdun, and piped aboard with an admiral's call. The Verdun slipped anchor just before noon and was joined by an escort of six battleships. As the flotilla carrying the casket closed on Dover Castle it received a 19-gun Field Marshal's salute. It was landed at Dover Marine Railway Station at the Western Docks on 10 November. The body of the Unknown Warrior was carried to London in South Eastern and Chatham Railway General Utility Van No.132, which had previously carried the bodies of Edith Cavell and Charles Fryatt. The van has been preserved by the Kent and East Sussex Railway. The train went to Victoria Station, where it arrived at platform 8 at 8:32 p.m. that evening and remained overnight. (A plaque at Victoria Station marks the site: every year on 10 November, a small Remembrance service, organised by The Western Front Association, takes place between platforms 8 and 9.)

On the morning of 11 November 1920, the casket was placed onto a gun carriage of the Royal Horse Artillery (N Battery RHA) and drawn by six horses through immense and silent crowds. As the cortege set off, a further Field Marshal's salute was fired in Hyde Park. The route followed was Hyde Park Corner, The Mall, and to Whitehall where the Cenotaph, a "symbolic empty tomb", was unveiled by King-Emperor George V. The cortège was then followed by The King, the Royal Family and ministers of state to Westminster Abbey, where the casket was borne into the West Nave of the Abbey flanked by a guard of honour of one hundred recipients of the Victoria Cross.
 
The guests of honour were a group of about one hundred women. They had been chosen because they had each lost their husband and all their sons in the war. "Every woman so bereft who applied for a place got it".

The coffin was then interred in the far western end of the Nave, only a few feet from the entrance, in soil brought from each of the main battlefields, and covered with a silk pall. Servicemen from the armed forces stood guard as tens of thousands of mourners filed silently past. The ceremony appears to have served as a form of catharsis for collective mourning on a scale not previously known.

The grave was then capped with a black Belgian marble stone (the only tombstone in the Abbey on which it is forbidden to walk) featuring this inscription, composed by Herbert Edward Ryle, Dean of Westminster, engraved with brass from melted down wartime ammunition.

 

Beneath this stone rests the body
Of a British warrior
Unknown by name or rank
Brought from France to lie among
The most illustrious of the land
And buried here on Armistice Day
11 Nov: 1920, in the presence of
His Majesty King George V
His Ministers of State
The Chiefs of his forces
And a vast concourse of the nation
 
Thus are commemorated the many
Multitudes who during the Great
War of 1914 – 1918 gave the most that
Man can give life itself
For God
For King and country
For loved ones home and empire
For the sacred cause of justice and
The freedom of the world
 
They buried him among the kings because he
Had done good toward God and toward
His house

 
Around the main inscription are four New Testament quotations:
The Lord knoweth them that are his (top; 2 Timothy 2:19)
Unknown and yet well known, dying and behold we live (side; 2 Corinthians 6:9)
Greater love hath no man than this (side; John 15:13)
In Christ shall all be made alive (base; 1 Corinthians 15:22)

Later history

The van in which the body of the Unknown Warrior was carried, before restoration in 2010.

A year later, on 17 October 1921, the unknown warrior was given the United States' highest award for valour, the Medal of Honor, from the hand of General John Pershing; it hangs on a pillar close to the tomb. On 11 November 1921, the American Unknown Soldier was reciprocally awarded the Victoria Cross.

When Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the future King George VI on 26 April 1923, she laid her bouquet at the Tomb on her way into the Abbey, as a tribute to her brother Fergus who had died at the Battle of Loos in 1915 (and whose name was then listed among those of the missing on the Loos Memorial, although in 2012 a new headstone was erected in the Quarry Cemetery, Vermelles). Royal brides married at the Abbey now have their bouquets laid on the tomb the day after the wedding and all of the official wedding photographs have been taken. It is also the only tomb not to have been covered by a special red carpet for the wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.  Before she died in 2002, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother expressed the wish for her wreath to be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Queen Elizabeth II, laid the wreath the day after the funeral.
Heads of state from over 70 countries have also laid wreaths in memoriam of the Unknown Warrior.

The British Unknown Warrior came 76th in the 100 Great Britons poll.

The LMS-Patriot Project a charitable organisation, is building a new steam locomotive that will carry the name The Unknown Warrior as a permanent memorial locomotive. A public appeal to build the locomotive was launched in 2008. The Unknown Warrior was expected to be complete by January 2019 —one year late of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice.  However due to unforeseen engineering issues and Covid 19 the project has been delayed.  The locomotive is now based at The West Shed, Swanwick the home of The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust who will be completing the locomotive.
 
Related memorials
There have been three related memorials erected since 1920 for the Unknown Warrior:
St. Pol where the Unknown Warrior was selected.
Dover harbour at the cruise terminal where the Unknown Warrior was brought ashore.
Victoria Station, London, where the Unknown Warrior rested before his burial on 11 November.

001 MUSEUM OF THE MERCIAN REGIMENT (WFR COLLECTION)

Hello everyone,

I hope that all the readers are keeping safe in these uncertain times that we find ourselves in! I have an image of unknown WFR soldiers and wondered if anyone out there knows who these soldiers are? On the back is CMH 90.

If you know who they are then  please get in touch with me at curator@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk.

Best Wishes

Jennifer Brookman-Moore

Curator & Archivist.

002 1 FORESTERS RECCE PLATOON

Please can any members of 1/Foresters Recce Platoon from 1961 to 1963 contact  Keith Kenworthy on  k.kenworthy@ntlworld.com or 01623 623 622.

003 THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

The following piece of music, available on YouTube, was written by Jonathan Rathbone and sung by the London Forest Choir.  The video including a shot of Crich Memorial (taken in 2018) was made by Nick Mercian whose grandfather enlisted from Crich.

They Shall Grow Not Old – music by Jonathan Rathbone, sung by London Forest Choir

 

004 GHELUVELT MEMORIAL
 
The renovated and upgraded memorial in Gheluvelt. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have almost finished the work but have been seriously hampered by Covid-19 impact upon their memorials team at Ypres. This has been jointly funded by the Worcester Ambassadors and Worcester City Council. Originally it was planned that the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire would unveil the memorial today in Gheluvelt with a team from the Worcester Ambassadors, who would lay a wreath at the Menin Gate this evening. Regrettably those plans had to be scrapped, but The Royal British Legion, Ypres branch, have laid a wreath today at the memorial in Gheluvelt village on our behalf.

https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18848410.battle-gheluvelt-memorial-worcester-restored-updated/

005 GHELUVELT SERVICE

The Annual Gheluvelt service held on 25 October 2020.
 

006 VETERANS SUPPORT

The following are available to support veterans and their families who may be experiencing mental health difficulties;

Forcesline Tel: 0800 731 4880 (between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday)
Combat Stress (24 hours)
Veterans and their families; Tel: 0800 138 1619
Serving personnel and their families; Tel: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123

..............................................

 30 October 2020      WFRA NEWSLETTER       Volume 11 Issue 48

EDITORIAL 

On behalf of my wife Katherine I would like to thank all of those who sent lovely email messages of thanks and support.  She was absolutely thrilled by you kind comments and pleased that you all enjoyed reading the article.  It has inspired her to write more articles for the newsletter which will be coming up in the next few months.  I won't say too much about them but there will be a sporting theme. 

001 REMEMBRANCE 2020 – MESSAGE FROM RHQ

It will be no surprise that unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, many Remembrance Sunday events have been cancelled.  Where there are still events going ahead, they have been scaled back and there will be no parades and church services and local councils and RBL’s are asking that people do not turn up to their local war memorial, unless specifically invited. Many councils are live streaming their events and encouraging the general public to participate in this way, stay safe and watch from home. Please check your local Council’s website for more details.

For those that have not been invited to an event but wish to lay a wreath, it is advised that they check with their local council as many have time slots that can be booked.  If a council does not have this facility,  to avoid congestion and putting any unnecessary pressure on local resources, it is advised that any wreath laying takes place later in the day, after the time of the usual service.  Or to lay the wreath on Armistice Day.  Please follow government guidelines.

Photos of wreaths/wreath laying or photographs of how you are paying your respects differently this year, can be sent to the Assistant Regimental Secretary cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk  for inclusion on social media and possible the Mercian Eagle. Please ensure that you give your permission, or that of others in it, for the photograph to be used by The Mercian Regiment, in your reply.

002 REMEMBRANCE DAY - LONDON

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the risks posed, the annual Remembrance Sunday March Past the Cenotaph will not take place this year.

The Royal British Legion recognise that this will be deeply disappointing for all who were due to take part and it is not a step that has been taken lightly.  This decision has been taken by the Government based on expert advice to protect the health and well-being of those who would have been travelling to and participating in the event.  The Government led Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph will continue to go ahead as a closed ceremony.

Despite the changes this year, they are encouraging people across the nations to ensure Remembrance Sunday is still marked appropriately by taking part in remote and socially distanced Remembrance activity, whether that be watching the service on television or pausing for the Two Minute Silence in their home or on their doorsteps.

003 REMEMBRANCE DAY - WORCESTER
There is no Armistice Day 11 November, wreath laying and parade at the war memorial outside Worcester Cathedral this year. The Staff at the cathedral do not want groups of people attending.  It is suggested that if people want to mark this day  they can go along in ones and twos and place poppy crosses etc.

We have two memorials in Gheluvelt Park, Worcestershire Regimental Stone and WFR Memorial Bench.  It is suggested that the above applies to these, in groups of no more than six and a short time spent there as we do not want the council thinking parades are being held without going through the correct procedures, risk assessments etc.

004  REMEMBRANCE DAY - CRICH
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the risks posed, the annual Remembrance Service on 11 November at the Regimental Memorial has been cancelled.

005 REMEMBRANCE DAY - DERBY
Derby City Council recognises the national importance of commemorating the service men and women who have served their country since the First World War and in later conflicts. As a result of the public health situation, this Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day the Council is promoting a range of engaging online content to encourage residents to remember from home. We believe this is the right thing to do for Derby.  
Derby City Council has taken the difficult decision that we will not be adopting the role of event organiser for any remembrance events taking place either in the city centre or its localities. Local partners are encouraged to adopt the same approach by seriously considering the implications of holding any events, due to the increased risks posed to public health. Should partners continue with any privately organised events, please be advised that it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure they have the necessary resources in place to guarantee public safety, undertake risk assessments and manage the implementation of Government guidance to ensure the venue is fully Covid-19 secure. The Council does not endorse any public gatherings at this time.
No public events will be organised to take place on the Market Place on either Sunday 8 November or Wednesday 11 November. Whilst the War Memorial will remain accessible for individuals to pay their respects, measures will be in place to ensure the latest restrictions on gatherings are applied and social distancing is maintained. We request that residents and partners abide by these restrictions in the interests of public health and preventing the further spread of Covid-19 in Derby. We also ask that you focus any planned activity on encouraging residents to remember from home and to participate in two minutes’ silence from their doorstep at 11am. The Council in partnership with Derby Cathedral hosted a pre-recorded memorial service earlier this month involving a range of civic dignitaries and representatives of the Armed Forces community in a Covid-19 secure setting. The service together with a range of other content will be broadcast via the Council’s social media channels on Sunday 8 November and we would ask you to promote this to the communities and organisations that you serve. In accordance with national and regional guidance issued by the Royal British Legion and other stakeholders, the Council will continue to encourage residents in the city to remember from home. Despite the significance and poignancy of the occasion, it’s vitally important that we all do the right thing for Derby and its residents at a time when local Covid-19 infections are increasing. If you would like further information about the pre-recorded Service of Remembrance held at Derby Cathedral or other online content planned over the coming days, please contact Jody Shelton, Members’ and Civic Services Manager (jody.shelton@derby.gov.uk / 01332 643652). If you have not done so already, we would welcome your participation. We appreciate your co-operation in this difficult and regrettable matter and hope you will support us in our efforts – ‘let’s do the right thing for Derby’.   

006 GHELUVELT SERVICE
The Service went well.  Apologies for the rules imposed on us in the restriction in numbers attending.  The Battle of Gheluvelt can be marked by visiting the Interpretative Feature, Gheluvelt Park on the 31st October.
There is a link below from the filming provided by the City Council.

https://www.facebook.com/communityworcester/videos/3910487545646851/            

007 STOLEN WFR MEDALS

In 2002 when 1 WFR were deployed on Op HERRICK 1 a large majority of SNCOs medals were stolen from the WO's and Sgt's Mess in Chester.  

Late last year Maj Baz Mitchell (2 MERCIAN) managed to retrieve his stolen set of medals from an auction site.  

Maj G C Kimberlin was recently informed that his set of stolen medals had appeared for sale briefly but sadly they were removed from sale before he could intercept them.  He has continued to monitor the internet and in the last two weeks two more sets of WFR medals have appeared for sale (Guthrie and Kirk).  He has tried to contact both of them but it is proving difficult to track them down.  The auction site have been informed that the medals may well be stolen.  Can you please pass the word across the association for anyone who knows the current whereabouts of Guthrie and Kirk or if anyone is in contact with them to let them know.  The auction website is https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb

I know that a lot of members are collectors of military memorabilia especially that which is linked to WFR and their antecedents.  Therefore can I ask you all to be vigilant when you are looking for items on auction sites and if you see something that you suspect maybe stolen to inform the relevant authorities.

 

008 VETERANS SUPPORT
The following are available to support veterans and their families who may be experiencing mental health difficulties;

Forcesline Tel: 0800 731 4880 (between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday)
Combat Stress (24 hours)
Veterans and their families; Tel: 0800 138 1619
Serving personnel and their families; Tel: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123


M A DACK
for Executive Committee



 

 

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