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Forces War Records Blog

WAR MEMORIAL FOUND AT CAR BOOT SALE SAFELY RETURNED

Blogger: GemSen. They say you can find almost anything at a car boot sale – but you probably wouldn’t expect to find a war memorial among the offerings. So you can probably imagine the surprise of Greg Wigg, local historian, who found exactly that at a sale at Cheltenham Racecourse in March earlier this year. The solid-bronze memorial honours workers who died during the First World War and contains the names of seven workers from global engineering firm's King's Norton Works (GKN) who lost their lives during The Great War. On the memorial are the words: “In ever grateful recognition of the splendid patriotism and heroic self sacrifice of the employees of Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds Ltd (King’s Norton Works) who gave their lives for their king and country in the Great War, 1914-1918.”
Reflecting: next year's WWI Centenary will remember the events and people involved in the Great War. Picture from Forces War Records Library. Reflecting: next year's WWI Centenary will remember the events and people involved in the Great War. Picture from Forces War Records Library.

Next week, July 28, will mark the 99th anniversary of the start of the First World War and next year marks the Centenary so this find is particularly poignant and according to the Redditch Standard, the cenotaph has been missing for three decades. Its disappearance is believed to have happened when the global engineering firm's King's Norton Works site closed in the early 1980s. It has now been returned to its rightful place after Mr Wigg contacted the War Graves Commission and the War Memorials Trust in order to hunt down its original home, the Redditch based firm GKN. Once the company became aware of the news they immediately offered to buy it back and apparently Chris Fox, GKN communications director said they were delighted to have the memorial back in time for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of The First World War in 2014. August 4th 2014 marks the Centenary, which is a time to reflect on the events of the First World War, the people involved, and how it has shaped the last 100 years. The centenary will  include a programme of cultural events and candlelit vigils, to be held across the country. The rediscovered war memorial will now go on display at the company's headquarters in Ipsley Church Lane. Mr Wigg told the Redditch Standard: "As soon as I saw it at the car boot sale I knew it shouldn’t be left there. "Having said that, I’m delighted that GKN was so keen to reclaim it. It’s vital we remember our history and doubly so in the case of those who have given their lives for their country." Source: Redditch Standard.
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