Saturday 14 November 2009

Today, Tomorrow, Forever

It is really lovely having my best friend Chris here for the weekend- lots of time to natter, and laugh about stuff, and a good excuse to go out somewhere interesting on a Saturday morning.

DSCF0901The two of us went to the National Memorial Arboretum. We went there last December with Liz and Steph, and I blogged then and posted pictures [here]

It was cold and wet and grey - just like these briskly marching cadets!

DSCF0887 At the big memorial to those killed since the end of WW2 there is a sculpture of a young man opening a door - and last time I was interested to note that "At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, a shaft of sunlight will shone through the crack onto the centre of the monument"

We were there just 3 days after the 11th, and a few minutes after 11am.

And sure enough, there was the sunbeam



It was a wet blustery day- the poor ATS girl was surrounded by water

DSCF0895 Staff members told us it has been a busy week- two services on Remembrance Sunday, and another on the 11th with Prince Edward in attendance.

There were poppies, wreaths and crosses everywhere. Sadly lots of new names added since we were there in December - Chris Dunsmore's name has many names below it.

Also we saw many crosses for Olaf Schmid, the young Bomb Disposal Expert from the West Country who died recently.


roadpeace At the end of the long path is a little wooden hut, with all sorts of interesting plaques inside - including one for Road Peace, a charity about which I confess I knew very little.

The rain was heavy so we sheltered awhile in the hut. A windswept Chris enjoyed herself by the wooden animal sculptures on the porch!


DSCF0899 We noticed a memorial placed by the RAF Association, recently 'opened' by HRH the Princess Royal.

The Arboretum is constantly being added to, and the trees are growing well - so it is a place which is worth revisiting.

In the Chapel is the wreath laid by Harry Patch at the Cenotaph in Whitehall in 2008.

It has been placed at the NMA now in his memory.



We will remember them, today. tomorrow, forever reads the engraving above the sculpture


Harry Patch said "No war is worth it. No war is worth the loss of a couple of lives let alone thousands. T'isn't worth it..."

Lots to think about, lots to reflect upon - many shattered lives, and shattered families, to remember in our prayers. Conscious that many are not looking forward to Christmas because there is an aching void at the centre of their family life this year.

The staff member in the gift shop said "Do come back in the summer when the sun is shining - it is lovely then" I knew what she meant - but somehow it didn't sound quite right.

We drove back to Leicester and met up with Bob. After a huge lunch at the Windmill at Brascote and a trip to PCW for more ink cartridges, Chris and I settled down with our knitting.

All in all a good day


  1. That's a difficult concept, as of course 'lovely' isnt the right word for the visit. I'm sure she meant the sunshine! It must have been a very poignant visit.

  2. All the sculptures (right word?) are so beautiful! What a moving spot.



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