The High Sheriff of Staffordshire, Mrs Pippa Gee DL, organised a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum for her neighbouring High Sheriffs. Luckily, her concept of “neighbour” included Herefordshire so we went with our chaplain and her husband. We were taken around in buggies and our guide explained the considerable thought that has gone into these memorials. Not only the armed forces with their ships, regiments and squadrons are represented but also many civilian organisations. The memorial to those who were executed for apparent cowardice in the First World War was particularly thought-provoking.
With so many memorials to see and understand, including the moving main memorial that one sees in pictures, it is easy to forget that it is an arboretum too. They have a wide variety of species, chosen as far as possible to go with the theatre of operations of the memorials nearby.
Everyone should go at least once in their lives. in this hundredth year since the end of the First World War, we have been reminded of the sacrifice that our forebears have made in the cause of freedom and to continue to seek better ways of settling differences. Here is how to visit.