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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Milford's War Memorial

Keyhaven War Memorial
*click image to enlarge
Being a time when the country is remembering the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and 100 years since WW1, it is poignant that a recent Parish Council meeting discussed a proposal for a new War Memorial on Milford on Sea village green.

On the face of it, it does appear a little odd that Milford on Sea does not have a clearly visible War Memorial, particularly as just down the road, Keyhaven do have one.

Counsellor Paul Noble, an ex-serviceman, was strongly in favour of a new memorial on the village green.

War Memorial Hospital
*click image to enlarge
As discussions commenced, two long-standing Milford residents spoke eloquently from the floor, they were both members of the Royal British Legion and MoS Historical Society, and each echoed a similar train of thought.

They explained that after WW1 the people of Milford on Sea decided they wanted a new hospital as their war memorial, rather than a granite cenotaph.

Village War Memorial
*click image to enlarge

The Milford on Sea War Memorial Hospital also contains a wall plaque dedicated to the men of Milford lost in WW1. (This had previously been sited opposite the Red Lion on the outside wall of what is now Lynk Photography Studios.)

The speakers felt that we should respect the wishes of our forefathers, and not erect a new war memorial on the village green and thus dilute the significance of the hospital, which is actually the village memorial to the war.

All Saints' Church War Memorial
*click image to enlarge
It was also pointed out that there is also a War Memorial in All Saints' Church.

An emotionally charge discussion followed. It was unanimous that a central point was needed for remembrance however, what and where led to a number of highly charged conversations.

A point was also made that the hospital has previously been saved from closure due to its 'war memorial status'.

It was agreed that the present memorial plaque was not visible to sufficient people, and that as it only contains names from WW1 it would be appropriate to also recognise soldiers lost fighting for their country in the years since.

Royal British Legion
Temporary Cenotaph
*click image to enlarge
In past years, when Remembrance Sunday has fallen in the 11th day of the 11th month, the Milford on Sea Branch of the Royal British Legion have erected a temporary cenotaph for the services prior to parading with other village groups to All Saints' Church.

Following a vote, The Parish Council took a decision that a new memorial on the village green was not required, however a working party was established to evaluate erecting a new memorial in the grounds of the War Memorial Hospital that was both visible and suitable for future remembrance services.


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