FUNDRAISING efforts helped to officially open the Armed Forces Memorial at Woodlands Cemetery in Coleshill on Friday (October 16).
The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Glenis Slater, opened the memorial which was built with the help of the Friends of Woodlands Cemetery (FoWC) who raised over £13,000 to erect the nine foot granite obelisk.
Put in place to remember the men and women of the armed forces who served their country, the sculpture features engravings that represent the different uniformed services – the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The monument is particularly relevant given it is the centenary anniversary of World War I and provides a focal point for friends and relatives to remember those who gave their lives in the conflict.
It also commemorates all those who have served their country in subsequent conflicts and Friday’s ceremony was attended by the families of two soldiers who passed away in the war in Afghanistan.
The relatives of Corporal Robert Christopher Deering, a Marine from Sheldon, and rifleman Joe Murphy from Castle Bromwich, helped the Mayor to unveil the memorial in the cemetery where their fallen heroes are buried.
Solihull Mayor Glenis Slater said: “The memorial is a fitting tribute to all those who served this great nation.
“I must congratulate the Friends of the Woodlands Cemetery group on the fantastic work that they have done, they’ve raised a tremendous amount of money for an excellent cause.”
The funds to make the memorial possible have been raised over the past 18 months through a range of activities including balloon releases as well as collecting donations made in the names of lost loved ones.
FoWC are now looking to raise £4,000 to pay for a set of new gates.
They also received the donation of three granite benches for the garden space – one each from Gascoignes of Coleshill and Franklin & Hawkins, both local funeral directors, as well as one from Peter Costello, a World War II veteran.