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The Salvation Army dedicates new memorial at the nation's Centre of Remembrance

Photo credit: Robert Wilson, Burton Mail (no reuse)

A new monument to remember The Salvation Army's work supporting those affected by war has been officially dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The Salvation Army’s Territorial Leaders for the UK and Ireland, Commissioners André and Silvia Cox, led the service of dedication at the Arboretum's Millennium Chapel on Saturday (24 November 2012), supported by Burton Salvation Army band.

Designed by Mel Gilman, the tribute from The Salvation Army is made of toughened glass engraved with two outstretched hands, allowing visitors of all ages to touch and interact with the memorial. An inscription at the bottom reads “Be Still And Know That I Am God.”

Lieut-Colonel Marion Drew, Secretary of Communications, who organised the memorial project, said: "The Salvation Army has been supporting people in need for nearly 150 years. We are so grateful to all those who volunteered and worked with The Salvation Army to offer practical help to those caught up in conflicts all over the world."

The Salvation Army supported British troops in the Boer War in South Africa, served refreshments in the trenches, ran cafes, accommodation and recreation facilities for Army, Naval and Airforce personnel in World War I. During the Second World War, the church and charity operated 3,000 service units for the Armed Forces, which led to the formation of the United Services Organisation.  

During the dedication service Lieut-Colonel Drew read a poem called 'Remember' by Christina Rosetti. Commissioner Silvia Cox recited a prayer of dedication and Commissioner André Cox laid a wreath at the altar of the Millennium Chapel.

Commissioner André Cox said: "This is a place of honour and peace. This is not a cemetery, but a place for people to pause and reflect in a busy world. There is a danger we forget our past and take for granted the price that has been paid for our freedom."

Located in Staffordshire, the 50,000 trees and 250 memorials at the National Memorial Arboretum offer a lasting tribute to those who serve their country, die in conflict or have a special reason for being remembered.

Working with Lieut-Colonel Drew on the project were the trustees of the Arboretum, project manager Mel Gillman of Let’s Imagine, Wiltshire glass consultant  Andrew Moor, glass makers Proto Studios and retired corps Sergeant-Major John Stanyard.