Where should Andover's War Memorial be?
26 Aug 2010
World War 1 Memorial
World War 1 Memorial
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World War 11 Memorial
World War 11 Memorial
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As a relative newcomer to Andover - I have lived here for the past 15 years - I have never known the war memorial to be anywhere else but in the churchyard of St Mary's. Nor is it unusual, in many towns and villages, for the war memorial to be in the grounds of the church. When we hold the annual Remembrance Day Service, Church and Cenotaph are next to each other.

I am aware that, previously, the war memorial used to be near the Guildhall, and there was opposition to it being moved to its current location. And there is now a petition aimed at moving the war memorial back to where it was.

I welcome initiatives that remind us of those who have fallen in the service of this country, and I am all in favour of appropriate recognition being given to their sacrifice. Memorials are also important to the relatives of those who lost their lives.

As the local MP, I will be influenced by the views of these relatives, and of organisations such as the Royal British Legion, who represent those who have served in the Armed Forces.

Having revisited the memorial, I see that the main memorial records the sacrifices of those who fell in the Great War - the First World War. It is their names who are on the monument.

The names of those who fell in the Second World War are recorded separately on the walls behind the memorial. Relocating the memorial leaves open the question as to what would happen to the tablets recognising those who fell in the Second World War.

As I have said, I have an open mind on this, but I believe the onus is on those who want to make the change, rather than with those who believe that the present situation is acceptable.

 
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