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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Saturday, 2 March 2013

National Memorial Arboretum

On a cold and windy day, Jess and I took Mum to the NMA at Alrewas, near Lichfield.

Mum wanted to see the special memorial bricks that are laid around the church, like simple memorial stones, dedicated to those that served the country in one way or another.

The staff were all very helpful. One gentleman put his coat on and came to see if he could help us, having spotted that we were studying the floor very closely! He explained everything to us, before leaving us to chat amongst ourselves. Jess and I then walked up to the main memorial, while Mum was shown the church by the guide.

The grounds were amazing. Everything is beautifully kept. We had recently had terrible weather, floods everywhere, but everything here was almost prestige. You could fault nothing. We walked up to the monument and walked around it. It was incredibly windy, but once protected by the curved walls, it wasn't too bad. It was very touching to see something of this magnitude having been built so very recently - especially when you read lists of names from wars that are still going on.

It was starting to dark and I spotted the guide climbing the stairs. I smiled at him and said; "you're closing, we have to go", but no... he had come across in that terrible wind, to explain the monuments and the statues that we could see and to tell us about the other monuments around that were now shrouded in darkness. He was evidently not a forces man himself, as he muddled some things up, but I couldn't fault his enthusiasm or dedication to his job.

This is truly a beautiful place to visit. There is a train that goes around the whole site, for those that are unable to walk (or those that simply want want a ride) and it is possible to get on and off at sites of particular interest.

Special Note: There is now a memorial brick with dad's name on it, near to the church.

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