The National Memorial Arboretum is a collection of over three hundred memorials to those who have served, and continue to serve our country, set in the beautiful, peaceful landscape of Staffordshire.
Sappers from the South East of England; Gravesend, Brighton, Medway and ex Junior Leaders RE assembled there on Sunday 20th August to pay tribute to all Sappers who had paid the ultimate sacrifice since the end of Worlds War 2.
The Gravesend Contingent are pictured below.
Gravesend Sapper Ray Ellis said “There was an early rendezvous at Cobham services then we made our way to the Arboretum. On arrival everyone made their way to the Royal Engineers memorial garden where, with three standards in position, a service of remembrance was held.
The group photographs above were taken in the Royal Engineers Memorial Garden after the service. After that we gave a traditional salute with a glass of port in the memorial.
Following the last post and revielle, each branch then laid a wreath to honour the fallen. Bill Stanley laid the Gravesend tribute.”
The rest of the day was spent reflecting upon the many magnificent, realistic and unusual memorials – two of which are pictured below.
On reflection, from the start to when we left it seemed as if we were in a place of joy, where the lives of people would be remembered by living trees that would grow and mature in peace.
Photographs Angela Ellis & Sue Nelmes