By Margaret Sheard…..
It seems there will be a huge number of people attending the unveiling of the Cyprus Rock Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, UK, which will be taking place on Sunday 21st August, but this has created a major problem regarding seating. We give below a further update from David Littlemore regarding the necessary change of plan and hope that everyone will appreciate and accept that due to the increase in the number of people who will be attending alternative arrangements have had to be made with regard to seating.
As David has said below, this proves that there is a need for the Memorial to those who lost their lives in Cyprus during the years 1955 to 1959.
With less than 6 weeks to the unveiling I had expected things to get busier but not as hectic as they have. If I were my grandchild I might say “it’s gone viral”. So many requests for seats that we have had to change our plans dramatically. Because the area of the NMA, where the memorial is being placed is limited in its capacity to accommodate chairs, we are unable to meet the requests to seat those attending as well as seating those unable, through age or disability, to stand for the service. The plan must now be, not to have seats on offer except to disabled veterans, and these can be requested through Mr Honey: firstname.lastname@example.org
My sincere apologies to all of those who have already booked seats, the changed circumstances are regrettably out of our control. Though the increase in those wishing to attend has made the organizing more challenging, the numbers wanting to be there are proof of the need for this Memorial.
The Parade Marshall, Neil Trotter, will form up the Standards, and those Veterans wishing to parade, are asked to report to him in front of the 3 large white tents by 1020 hrs. All others attending are expected to be at the Memorial site for the 1100 start of the Unveiling and Dedication service in the Mediterranean Area of the Arboretum. After the service and the formal laying of wreaths there will be the opportunity for the private laying of wreaths and flowers or just to stand and remember friends or family. There will be a shuttle service run by the NMA staff with electric buggies which will depart from the front of the chapel. The walk to the site is quite a short one for those able to take it.
After the service, which will take about half an hour, there will be hot and cold drinks with biscuits served in the marquee for those attending, and a chance to meet for a chat with old friends and comrades.
I look forward to seeing you all there.
Kind regards, David.
The programme for the unveiling with other useful information can be accessed by clicking here
The GoFundMe account now stands at £2,935. In addition other funding has been received but as the original costing has increased with the addition of the Regimental badges on the memorial plinth and the inclusion on the Memorial Rock of the members of the police who also lost their lives in Cyprus it would be so much appreciated if the funds could be boosted with donations for this wonderful memorial and its future upkeep. Click here for the GoFundMe account.