Fringe Box



Opinion: Why A Separate Memorial For These War Dead?

Published on: 11 Jul, 2017
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2017

By Martin Giles

Most of us believe that remembering those who died in military service is the right thing to do. They died in the service of their country: it seems the very least we can do is to remember their sacrifice, be it through ceremonies or physical memorials listing their names. We are all in their debt.

The current proposal to recall the names of those who have died since the end of the Second World War is laudable. Who can say that their sacrifice was any less important or worthy of recognition?

Now that a council spokesperson has clarified an earlier statement, making it clear that only those who died on “active service” are to be included, I cannot imagine many would oppose the suggestion.

It is good that the borough council wants to remember these war dead from more recent conflicts. We should have done so before. It took fifty years for us to construct a monument to Guildford’s Second World War dead. Anyway, better late than never.

But why are the names to be included on a new memorial in Guildford rather than added to the existing memorials in the various parishes throughout the borough?

Why should a serviceman who died in one of the world wars be on a memorial in Ash Vale, Effingham or Worplesdon while someone from those villages who died in Palestine, Borneo, Malaya, Cyprus, Aden, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf Wars or Afghanistan (this list is not exhaustive) be recorded on a separate memorial in central Guildford, more remote from his or her home?

Personally, as one of the minority these days with experience of military service, it is not what I would have preferred if I was one of those casualties.

There is still some room for additional names on the First World War memorial.

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Responses to Opinion: Why A Separate Memorial For These War Dead?

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 12, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Indeed why a separate memorial?

    Fortunately, those killed since the end of the Second World War are few.

    Consideration could also be given to an appropriate plaque placed in our civic church where we hold our Armistice Day Service.

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