Cannock Chase YAC at the National Memorial Arboretum
In November 2016, members of the Museum of Cannock Chase YAC visited the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire. YAC leader Diane Sanders told us more about their visit...
What is the National Memorial Arboretum?
The National Memorial Arboretum is described as "the UK's year-round centre of Remembrance". Planted with more than 30,000 trees, the Arbotetum "honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial."
There are more than 300 memorials at the Arboretum, to remember a huge range of people; including members of the armed services who lost their lives at conflicts around the world, prisoners of war, stillborn children, and members of the emergency services who lost their lives whilst looking after their local communities. Every single monument has a story to tell.
Our YAC members had a brilliant and successful visit. We booked a guided tour with a member of staff. Our guide was Randie Cush one of the Learning Officers, who made our visit very interesting and memorable. All the group enjoyed the day and although it was cold, the weather remained dry and bright – always a bonus.
Before our tour, we went into the Millennium Chapel for an introduction to the site and to take part in the daily two-minute silence. The guided tour took us around a small but very poignant area looking at the First World War and the Second World War. We also visited the memorial to the Bevin Boys. There were nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys. They were young men aged between 18 and 25 who were conscripted to work in the coal mines during the Second World War to ensure that there was enough coal to support the war effort.
After lunch we took part in the Arboretum's poppy activity. We learnt about the meaning of the poppy and how veterans make the symbolic poppies sold to mark Remembrance Day. We also attempted to experience what it is like for disabled service men and women to construct the poppies – very difficult.
Our visit was amazing and the staff at the Arboretum were outstanding. All in all, it was a very successful day and all of our members were fantastic advocates for the Young Archaeologists' Club. Their behaviour during the day was exceptional.
Blog by Diane Sanders, Museum of Cannock Chase YAC