The National Memorial Arboretum is built on 150 acres of old gravel workings. It is located at Alrewas, near Lichfield in Staffordshire. The idea for the arboretum was conceived by the director, David Childs, in 1988. It was established at the beginning of the millennium and was then officially opened on 16 May 2001.
The Armed Forces Memorial, now the major memorial, was dedicated on 12 October 2007 by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the presence of the queen.
After arriving at the car park, head for the visitor centre. Here the exact location of a dedication to a loved one can be pinpointed by a member of the staff. Site maps are available and you can view a short video of the development of the arboretum.
Step outside and follow the path (or take a land train) to the splendid Armed Forces Memorial. This is an imposing piece of architecture designed by Liam O’Connor. Built of Portland stone, it bears the names of more than 16,000 servicemen and women killed on duty or by terrorist action since the end of the Second World War.
The design of the memorial allows the sun to shine on the central wreath sculpture (designed by Ian Rank-Broadley) on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This memorial also affords a panoramic view of other memorials to armed forces, police, fire service and many other civilian organisations plus the 50,000 trees at the site.
Before you leave the National Memorial Arboretum, visit the delightful millennium chapel.
Don’t miss: the War in the Far East exhibition, including a section of the Burma railway.
The National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
tel: 01283 792333