Quinton’s own Generic War Memorial
The society has wonderful news for all of the members. Quinton now has its very own generic war memorial which is in situ in Quinton Recreation Ground, placed in front of the Lebanese cedar tree, planted by the then Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Michael Wilkes, to commemorate the centenary of Quinton’s annexation to Birmingham on the 9th November 1909.
The official unveiling and blessing took place at 2pm on Tuesday 23rd June 2015 in the presence of between 80-100 people (which included the standard bearers and the children from Christ Church Primary School).
The standard bearers were Clive Maynard (Quinton British Legion); Richard Marsh (Wolverhampton City British Legion); Peter Lloyd (Federation of Birmingham ex-Servicemen’s Association); Gordon Duggins (Birmingham Korean Veterans Fellowship); Roger Withers (RNLI); Paul Cork (1944 Standard commemorating D-Day).
The bugler was Gary Bell.
The service began with our Chairman, Bernard Taylor, welcoming all those present and thanking them for their presence at the official unveiling.
The Rector of Christ Church, Reverend Jenny Arnold then send a few words followed by prayers.
Everyone then sang “Abide With Me” accompanied by the bugler. The rector then unveiled the memorial and blessed it and Bernard then read out the Exhortation. The bugler sounded “The Last Post”, followed by a minute silence, then “Reveille”. Next a poppy wreath from Quinton LHS was laid at the memorial base followed by 15 white crosses by the children, who had already placed their initials on the crosses.
Closing prayers by the Reverend Arnold and Bernard closed the ceremony by thanking all those who had attended.
Various newpapers attended and there were reports in the Evening Mail, Halesowen News, Black Country Bugle and here is a transcript of the article in the Sandwell Edition of the Express & Star.
While specific memorials exist for those who died in the First and Second World War, the monument in Quinton Recreation Ground is the first to cover all conflicts and is the most accessible to the public.
It was put in place in May to coincide with the 70th anniversary of VE Day having been funded by the Birmingham City Council Community Chest.
Bernard Taylor, chairman of the Quinton Local History Society, explained how the desire to have a general memorial came about.
He said: “During the celebrations last year, commemorating the centenary of the First World War, I was asked by the acting head of the Church School if there was such a memorial for Quinton where the children could lay down a poppy wreath.
“Sadly, I replied there was not, and then I thought it was about time that the people of Quinton had their own war memorial, a generic one to all those who had given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“I approached the councillors and asked if the society could have a grant from the ward community chest. The answer was a resounding ‘yes.’”
The unveiling ceremony this week included prayers led by the rector at Christ Church, Rev Jenny Arnold, hymns, the playing of the Last Post, a minute silence and the laying of a wreath. Later, children from Quinton Church Primary School placed crosses marked with their initials on the memorial.
Standard-bearers represented the Quinton British Legion, Wolverhampton City British Legion, the Federation of Birmingham Ex-Service Association, the Birmingham Korean Veterans’ Fellowship, the Royal National Lifeboat Association and the 1944 Standard commemorating D-Day.
Mr Taylor, added: “The importance of this is the children asked me last year where could they lay a wreath. It was the fact I had to say no.
“It is important the children in the future realise that people gave the ultimate sacrifice so they can live in relative peace and harmony and freedom.”
The memorial would not have been possible without the financial support of Birmingham City Council Community Chest. Also the support of Quinton councillors Caroline Bradley and John Clancy but especially the chairman Matthew Gregson. We now have a memorial to be proud of and when any significant anniversary takes place, we have somewhere to place a fitting tribute. The contribution of those men and women in any conflict, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice should never be forgotten.
We have placed on the website other photos and a “You Tube” video clip. The society has also produced a dvd of the event and if anyone is interested in buying a copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0121-422-1792 for more details.
Thanks also to Dallows Monumentals of Quinton for making and fixing the memorial and to Darren Bannocks for his professionalism during the process.
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