National Memorial Arboretum – Cyprus Rock Memorial
Cyprus Rock Memorial
for the UK National Memorial Arboretum
By Margaret Sheard…..
We have recently learned of a wonderful memorial which is to be placed in the UK National Memorial Arboretum to those who lost their lives in the Cyprus Emergency which is to be a Cyprus Rock with an inscription on a plaque in the shape of the Island of Cyprus and a copper time capsule inserted in the rock with the names of those who died serving their country. The rock is being transported to the UK by the RAF which has shown great support for this project. They will be transporting it by sea rather than air, in their own marine transport, as it would have needed a special case making to hold it securely in a large transport aircraft. The RAF are even going to transport the rock by road in the UK all the way to the National Arboretum.
The inscription on the plaque will read:-
IN HONOUR of the
BRITISH SERVICE PERSONNEL
who SERVED DURING the
1955 – 1959
IN MEMORY of the 371 WHO LOST THEIR LIVES
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
This project is the brainchild of David Littlemore who was very upset to discover that the Cyprus Emergency is the only “Active Service” posting in which British lives were lost and have no dedicated memorial to them at the National Memorial Arboretum. David decided single-handedly that he would endeavour to put this right and he has now been granted permission for a memorial to be placed at the Arboretum.
This is what David has said about his decision to honour those who died in the Cyprus Emergency.
In 1956 to1957 I served in the C in C’s protection team, living in tents in the grounds of his home, Wayne’s Keep House next to the cemetery, and the bugle and shots fired were heard on most days. Cyprus Emergency casualties were the last to be buried in “some foreign field”. After that time, with the exception of some killed in the Falklands, all the bodies of those killed have been flown back to the UK for burial. So I thought it appropriate to honour the memory of those left behind in Cyprus by asking the RAF to fly the Cyprus Rock, on which we plan to place the Memorial Plaque, “home” to the UK. Inside the “piece of Cyprus” will be placed a ‘copper’ (again I think ‘fitting’) Time Capsule containing all the names and details of their deaths on the Scroll of Honour. The RAF have been wonderfully helpful to this old Red Cap and I would like to say a big ”thank you” to them. I understand my CYPRUS ROCK is due to land in the UK in January 2016, just 60 years after I landed in Cyprus for my first time. I now go back every year to my holiday home and enjoy the sun, and most of my memories; but will never forget those who stayed there.
David is donating the engraved plaque for the Memorial Rock but there will be additional expenditure for a plinth for the Rock to be mounted on, placing it in the National Memorial Arboretum and of course the future upkeep of the memorial.
If there are any veterans or associations that would like to help with the funding of this wonderful gesture and project by David please make a donation on his GoFundMe account by clicking here.
Contact can also be made with David by email at firstname.lastname@example.org