A poignat and moving service to re dedicate the Trees of Remembrance on Heathfield Road , Frecheville was attended by over a 100 people last Saturday (15/3/14) including veterans, cadets and members of the local community. Nineteen trees were planted in memory of the nineteen Frecheville servicemen who gave their lives during the Second World War and there used to be a small plaque at the base of each tree but these disappeared many years ago. Cllr Bryan Lodge has been investigating some form of replacement plaque for some time and is pleased to have now secured funding to do this. With the support of his fellow Birley Councillors, Cllrs Karen McGowan and Denise Fox, funding has been identified to produce and site an interpretation board close to the trees to explain why the trees were planted. It is also hoped to replace three trees in due course as there are currently only sixteen trees remaining.“There’s a whole generation that’s grown up without any knowledge of the significance of the trees and now is an appropriate time to redress this. I remember the Royal British Legion organised a parade to St Cyprian’s Church and the laying of wreaths afterwards at the trees on Remembrance Sunday each year and I used to take part as a Scout, along with members of the Boys Brigade, Guides and Brownies, and many members of the local community. Sadly the parades ceased some years ago as membership dwindled within the Royal British Legion. I’m extremely pleased that we have secured the funding and have worked with officers of the Council and the local Veteran’s Association on the wording. It was great to see so many people there including ex servicemen and women, Cadets and pupils from Birley Community College”.
This installation of the interpretation board also ties in with the proposals of local resident and veteran Bill Carlin, seen in the photo with Cllrs McGowan, Fox and Lodge, for a new war memorial to be built within the boundaries of the Frecheville Park and Pond. “When we were looking at getting the board installed, we became aware of Bill’s aspiration and felt that this complemented his wish. It’s fitting that everyone passing by will now be aware of the significance of the trees, maybe calling to mind the sacrifice shown by local families”.Bill is well on the way to raise the funding needed for the new war memorial and it is hoped that work will enable the new memorial to be officially unveiled in the near future.