The Project has the following objectives:
- Raise awareness of the sacrifice made by those killed in conflict and the importance of commemorating their sacrifice
- Where their sacrifice has been forgotten to ensure that steps are taken to rectify this ; names on war memorials and reconstituting memorials that have disappeared or fallen into disrepair
- Putting relatives in touch with the headstones and memorials commemorating the sacrifice of their loved ones
- Collecting donations to support Combat Stress
Successes from the project objectives are highlighted as follows:
Raising Awareness of the Sacrifice of those killed in conflict
1. Since January 2014 and as at 25th June 2021 presentations have been given in 360 venues to 13,186 people.
Restoring and Updating War Memorials
2. Stock Exchange Memorial. In 2014 I was approached by a friend in Leicestershire to help in the re-establishment of the Stock Exchange War Memorial (containing over 600 names of the fallen from the Boer War and WW1 and WW2) after it had been dismantled in 1970 on the demolition of their original premises. The original large memorial was stored in a stone mason’s yard in London as it could not be placed in their new modern premises at Paternoster Square.
Panels of original memorial in storage
3. After numerous letters, emails and meetings with staff at the London Stock Exchange with their excellent support agreement was agreed after several years that a new memorial be commissioned by them and this was unveiled on 14Th November 2017.
Re-dedication of the new Stock Exchange War Memorial
4. Pte Robert Benner. Pte Robert Benner was murdered by the IRA in 1972. He is buried in Narborough Cemetery in Leicestershire.
Pte Robert Benner’s Headstone
5. Just a few yards from his headstone is the village war memorial. His name was not displayed on this memorial as during the N I conflict many Parish Councils did not feel it appropriate to place the names of those soldiers killed there on WW1 memorials as the conflict was fought on home territory. Thankfully attitudes have since changed and through the intervention of this project some 40 years after his death his name was finally added to the war memorial.
Pte Robert Benner’s name on the Narborough War Memorial
6. WW1 Wooden Cross – 2/Lt Basil Fellowes. The wooden cross marking the temporary grave of 2/Lt Fellowes, who was killed in action on 22 March 1917 aged 19, was located behind a step ladder in the vestry of a church in Leicestershire. After highlighting the significance of the cross to the vicar it is now displayed in the main body of the church.
7. The project has assisted numerous people with seeing images of the headstone of a relative. This has been possible with the help of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (web site http://www.cwgc.org) and The War Graves Photographic Project (web site http://www.twgpp.org) Here are just a few examples;
Major Rocyn-Jones OBE
Buried in Castiglione Cemetery- Italy
His daughter lives in Hoot Bay, S Africa
Sgt D W Pike
Buried in Knightsbridge Cemetery – Libya
His daughter lives in Southampton
Raising Funds for Combat Stress
8. As at 11th June 2021, through the generous donations from those attending the presentations £18,000 has been raised so far for Combat Stress