The 400th memorial, honouring those who lost their lives while supporting the Armed Forces during World War Two, has been dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) Memorial honours the courage and sacrifice of the 550 members who lost their lives while supporting the Armed Forces during World War Two.
The new dedication means that the National Memorial Arboretum is now home to 400 memorials commemorating the service and sacrifice made by the Armed Forces, emergency services and community and voluntary groups.
Philippa Rawlinson, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Over the past 20 years the National Memorial Arboretum has established itself in the public’s consciousness as the Nation’s year-round place to remember.
“The 400th memorial is a significant milestone as we continue to work to deliver our ambitious vision for modern Remembrance, adopting and advocating for sustainable practices, nurturing a space that is inclusive and accessible to all and continuing to develop new ways for people to engage with Remembrance.”
Graeme Mitcheson, the sculptor who designed and built the NAAFI memorial, was also the creative force behind several other tributes around the site, including the Naval Services Memorial, Bevin Boys Memorial and the National Memorial to Scouting.
Earlier this year, the 150-acre garden and woodland site announced a vision for modern Remembrance by making a series of pledges and unveiling plans for a new memorial woodland in memory of those who have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic.
The new 25-acre network of Remembrance spaces and wildlife habitats will feature symbolic planting, sculptures and an expansive lake, was described by Rawlinson as an inspirational landscape where people can “reconnect, remember and forge new memories together”.
The National Memorial Arboretum opened to the public in 2001. It is set within the National Forest in Staffordshire and is a place which helps people to reflect, celebrate lives lived and commemorate lives lost in service.
The National Memorial Arboretum is located in Alrewas, Staffordshire. Entry is free but pre-booking is recommended in order to limit numbers on site. For more information visit www.thenma.org.uk