Letter: Save war memorials

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The Independent Culture
Save war memorials

Sir: Cenotaphs are perhaps the most familiar form of war memorial. They enjoy protection in law. There are, however, in cities, towns and villages many other war memorials that do not enjoy protection. Examples are, hospitals, reading rooms, community centres and playing fields.

Usually money was raised by public subscription, land and buildings were purchased and by means of public ceremony and perhaps a commemorative plaque the site was identified as a war memorial. Trusteeships came into being or in some cases the site was taken over by the local council.

The sites held by trustees are at great risk from marauding property developers and local authorities only too eager to fill district plans with sites for housing development.

Local people are powerless to protect that which they paid for through the death of the young and then paid for again, often from very small incomes.

All war memorials could be identified by local councils. Trusts should be created to be monitored by the Charity Commissioners. The Government should introduce a listing system (as with stately homes), thus ensuring protection.


Burnham, Buckinghamshire