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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Wording for new WW1 memorial - advice please??


potty5

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Dear forum members, I have been asked to design a memorial to the six lads who fell during the Great War from a village near to where I reside. However, when I submitted my design, a number of the younger members of the Parish Council asked for a number of changes. I was asked to produce a "period" memorial, however they objected to a laurel leaf on the design and wanted it replaced by a poppy. I stated that poppies and wreaths would be placed below or by the new memorial for the Remembrance Day service so there was no need for a poppy on the design, but they insisted on it. Your opinion on this first matter counts. Secondly, I included the years 1914 - 1919 on the memorial, but they wanted 1918, as they referred to the 14-18 war and the 1919 date would confuse people. However in my opinion the war did not finish until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and only the Armistice signals the 1918 date. Nearly all the memorials in my local area state 1914-1919 but again, I would like to hear the opinion of forum members, before I present my case next week. Lastly, one which has always baffled me (as I've seen both recorded) is should I record Welsh Regiment or Welch Regiment for one man. Thanks everybody, your opinion really does matter on this subject. Mark.

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Secondly, I included the years 1914 - 1919 on the memorial, but they wanted 1918, as they referred to the 14-18 war and the 1919 date would confuse people. However in my opinion the war did not finish until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and only the Armistice signals the 1918 date

Or even a third year, 1921, where Parliament officially declared hostilities over.

 

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Lastly, one which has always baffled me (as I've seen both recorded) is should I record Welsh Regiment or Welch Regiment for one man

See post 7 here



Craig

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6 minutes ago, potty5 said:

should I record Welsh Regiment or Welch Regiment for one man

Depends when he died.

Up to 1920- Welsh Regiment. After 1920-Welch Regiment.

 

Are the committee not going to consider deaths of men (and women) up to August 31st 1921, to tie in with the cut off date used by the CWGC?

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The UK War memorials registry is online. Searching for "1914-19" gives 4,389 memorials, but 50,469 memorials have "1914-1918".

I would go with the majority.

 

After all, 474 Korean war memorials have "1950-1953 " and two have "1950-1954", even though the war is still not officially over.

 

Michael

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I would agree with Michael. I don't know what influence you have with the committee, but they do seem to have a good general idea of what they want and in the end there is nothing wrong with what they have said, it still commemorates the dead. 

 

I post below a modern war memorial at Brinklow in Warwickshire, 1914-18 and 1939-45, not far from where I live. It is a modern theme for sure but still conveys the same theme of remembrance:

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0075.jpg

IMG_0076.jpg

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Nearly all servicemen received a Victory Medal the reverse of which clearly states 1914 - 1919. This is contemporary and good enough for me. I also agree that a poppy has a wrong feeling about it. Is there anything special about the village (or the casualties) that you could incorporate ?  If an agricultural community a representation of a plough ?  If it were me I wouldn't compromise on your design. If they don't like it let them find someone else to do it no matter how privelidged you feel in being asked. A committee rarely can compromise as everyone will have their own view on what is wanted. But if they want a tacky modern memorial then they should remember that the memorial will be there for centuries to come.

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Thanks guys for your input, I really value your opinions. Regarding the 1918 date I will compromise on that, but the poppy on the memorial, I will not agree to that as they clearly asked me to design a memorial which would not have looked out of place if it had been unveiled in 1919,20 or 21 when the majority of memorials were unveiled in our local area. I have never seen a "period" WW1 memorial with a poppy on it. It is basically down to young versus old on the committee, with the younger element wanting the poppy. Thankfully the chairman, an ex RAF officer agrees with me, so I'm hopeful of a compromise. I'll keep you all informed. Mark.  

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You might suggest something like this, from Derry/Londonderry!

 

 

 

 

Soldier.jpg

Edited by Michael Pegum
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Potty5, cost will always be the issue of course.

Over the past few years I have seen a number of newer War Memorials ……..big and small.

 

Here is an example of a very modern memorial from Ashton in Makerfield which would suit a more rural location. 

(Note the information Plaques)

 

It would be very feasible to place a short biography of each man on a memorial with limited numbers as you suggest.

KB

 

 

Ashton Memorial 1.jpg

Ashton Memorial 2.jpg

Ashton Memorial 3.jpg

Ashton Memorial 4.jpg

Ashton Memorial 5.jpg

Ashton Memorial 6.jpg

Ashton Memorial 7.jpg

Ashton Memorial 8.jpg

Ashton Memorial 9.jpg

Ashton Memorial 91.jpg

Ashton Memorial 92.jpg

Ashton Memorial 93.jpg

Ashton Memorial 94.jpg

Ashton Memorial 95.jpg

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my humble opinion is, when a group approach a sculptor, it is the sculptors choice. If me, i would politely decline the project. But certainly leave on good terms. Perhaps they mis understand the concept artistic direction and control. Hope this doesnt sound too high handed

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    There were books published just after the Great War of "suitable"  wordings, usually taken from biblical or high literary values- all chosen by the "right sort of chap" (Pretty sure there were no chapesses on the committee).  That would give the period flavour. I will try to dig my one out. It may well be on archive.org anyway-if only I could remember it's exact title.

   If it is local, then the reference to something local may make it all the more poignant- Look up "Lochaber No More" for a good reference on this. The poppy has become the best-known symbol of the Great War and is pretty hard to resist. The main tussle on inscription is whether it is "neutral" or directly/indirectly makes a current-day political statement.

  

 

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On 23/06/2018 at 05:57, potty5 said:

Dear forum members, I have been asked to design a memorial to the six lads who fell during the Great War from a village near to where I reside. However, when I submitted my design, a number of the younger members of the Parish Council asked for a number of changes. I was asked to produce a "period" memorial, however they objected to a laurel leaf on the design and wanted it replaced by a poppy.

 

A poppy is a very English symbol.  A laurel is much more universal, and universally understood.

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