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Armed Forces Memorial
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Armed Forces Memorial

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

This section is illustrated with pictures of the various sculptures at the Memorial.

1. What is the Armed Forces Memorial?

The first national memorial to members of the Armed Forces killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since the end of the Second World War.

2. How did it all start?Photo : David Faul

The Secretary of State for Defence made a statement in the House of Commons on 10 November 2000 that there was insufficient recognition of members of the Armed Forces killed on duty since the Second World War and that a new national memorial would be constructed. He also confirmed that the memorial would be funded by public subscription and that a period of consultation would follow.

3. Why was a new memorial needed?


Some 16,000 members of the Armed Forces have been killed on duty in the 60 years since the end of the Second World War. In many cases there is no memorial at all, or at least none that can be reached easily. The Armed Forces Memorial provides a focus to recognise and commemorate those who have been killed in the service of their country.

4. Who was consulted and why?

The three Services and ex-Service organisations including The Royal British Legion, The Confederation of British Service and Ex Service Organisation and the War Widows Association were consulted. Consultation was necessary to confirm that there was a need for a memorial and if so who should qualify for inclusion and where it should be sited.

5. What was the outcome of the consultation?

There was strong support for the establishment of a memorial but not in central London. The consensus was to move away from the more traditional war memorial and construct a memorial to those killed on duty.

6. Why those killed on duty?
Photo : David Faul

This includes those killed in training, on exercise, during operations as well as battle casualties, which makes this memorial unique.

7. When was the outcome announced?


A further statement by the Secretary of State for Defence was made on 20 March 2002.


8. Who was responsible for the completion of the Project?

The Board of Trustees of the Armed Forces Memorial Trust, which was established in November 2003, was responsible.

9. What does the memorial look like?

The design for the Memorial was unveiled at the launch of the public fundraising appeal on 6 April 2005 at the Imperial War Museum in London. The memorial is a stunning piece of architecture in its own right. It comprises two parts: a large earth mound in the form of a barrow or tumulus and a circular structure on top formed by curved Portland stone walls open at the east and west sides and with an obelisk at the eastern end. At the heart of the memorial, situated at the centre of each of the two straight stone walls are bronze sculptures by Ian Rank-Broadley.

10. Are names on the memorial?

Names are engraved and additions will be made when necessary in the years to come.

11. Who was the memorial designed by?

Photo : David Faul
The winning design was created by Liam O'Connor Architects and Planning Consultants. His team included Alan Baxter + Associates, consulting engineers, Thompson Cole Ltd, quantity surveyors and the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley.

12. How was the winning design chosen?

The competition for the design of the Memorial was completed in December 2004. Entries were received from round the world and, from a field of 45, the winning design was selected and received approval from the Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales. The winning design was unveiled at the public fundraising launch in April 2005. The Prince's Foundation was closely involved in the design process.

13. Where is the memorial located?

The Armed Forces Memorial is located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, off the A38 near Lichfield in Staffordshire.

14. Who is included on the memorial?

In general, members of the UK Armed Forces killed on duty, or as a result of terrorist action since the end of the Second World War are included. Members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Navy who died in conflict zones while in direct support of the Armed Forces are also included.

15. Who decides who is included on the memorial?

The Trustees of the Armed Forces Memorial Trust decide who to include on the Memorial. They have discretion in all cases.

16. In what circumstances is someone included?

The emphasis of the memorial is to recognise those 'killed on duty' and so it commemorates those killed in training, on peacekeeping operations and on exercise as well as battle casualties.

17. Who is the memorial for?
Photo : David Faul
The memorial has a particularly personal relevance to the relatives, friends and comrades of those who the Memorial commemorates and provides a place they can visit to remember them.

18. How was the information on who to include gathered?

A research programme was carried out to determine a complete list of Service personnel who have died in Service since the end of the Second World War. The research programme which required the examination of individual Service records to determine eligibility for inclusion was completed in August 2004.

19. Why was the memorial not built in London?

The national significance of this memorial is such that it should be accessible to all communities in the United Kingdom. A central location was considered essential and the Midlands was chosen to meet this fundamental need and provide the space required for what is a very substantial and prestigious memorial.

20. Why build a new memorial when we have the Cenotaph?

The Cenotaph commemorates those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. In 1980 the service of Remembrance extended this to include the commemoration of those killed in subsequent conflicts. However, it does not commemorate Service personnel who have lost their lives in situations other than in conflict nor does it list the names of those who have died.

21. Will the Armed Forces Memorial replace the Cenotaph?
Photo : David Faul
The national significance of the Cenotaph will not be affected.

22. What are the benefits of siting the memorial at the Arboretum?

  • The Arboretum is set in a 150 acre site and is centrally located in the United Kingdom.
  • It provides a place for quiet contemplation and already has a close association with the Armed Forces.
  • There is a Chapel and Visitor Centre.
  • It is under the control of The Royal British Legion.
  • It is being promoted as a site of national importance for Remembrance and commemoration all year round.
  • Excellent prospects for developing educational facilities that will provide opportunities to educate the public, particularly younger people, about the history of the Armed Forces and the valuable contribution they have made to world order since the end of the Second World War.

23. How much did the memorial cost?

A fundraising target of £7 million was set to cover the construction cost of the Memorial in Staffordshire and the other elements of the Project in London.

24. When was the memorial completed?

The completion date was October 2007.

25. Who is responsible for the Memorial?

The Trustees of the Armed Forces Memorial Trust are responsible for making the necessary arrangements to maintain the Memorial including the addition of names.

26. Is there any kind of Memorial in London?

  • A memorial, without names, in the South Cloister of Westminster Abbey.
  • Rolls of Honour are being prepared and will be kept on public display in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Royal Navy and the Chapel of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the Army. They will be similar to the existing Rolls of Honour for the Royal Air Force kept in the Church of St Clement Danes in the Strand.

27. Who is the memorial in Westminster Abbey for?

It is dedicated to members of the Armed Forces killed in conflict, and members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Navy who have died while serving alongside the Armed Forces in conflict zones since the end of the Second World War.

28. Who will be included on the Rolls of Honour?

They will record the names of those who have died in Service, regardless of the cause, in the Royal Navy and the Army. They will be similar to the existing Rolls of Honour for the Royal Air Force.

29. Who decides who will be included on the Rolls of Honour?Photo : David Faul

The Trustees of the Armed Forces Memorial Trust will decide who to include on the Rolls of Honour. They have discretion in all cases.

30. How was the Armed Forces Memorial Project funded?

The Project was funded by public subscription and received a contribution of £1.5million from HM Treasury from the sale of the Trafalgar coin. The Millennium Commission made a grant of £2,416,500 towards the construction costs of the memorial and an additional grant of £416,500 was made to help fund the cost of improvements to the infrastructure at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The Royal British Legion Millenium Commission


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