Hun­dreds of crosses re­moved from me­mo­rial field

Com­mu­nity anger over move be­fore Re­mem­brance

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

HUN­DREDS of First World War me­mo­rial crosses were re­moved from a field in Amer­sham, just weeks be­fore Re­mem­brance Sun­day.

The move prompted a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion from neigh­bours, who have called it a ‘real shame’ and ‘dis­ap­point­ing’, es­pe­cially at this time of year.

The town coun­cil has hit back and said the in­stal­la­tion was only ever meant to be a sym­bolic, tem­po­rary one for the 100th an­niver­sary of the start of the con­flict, with the per­ma­nent com­mem­o­ra­tion be­ing in the me­mo­rial gar­dens in Amer­sham Old Town.

A field of re­mem­brance, con­sist­ing of 320 six foot high crosses to rep­re­sent the mil­lions who lost their lives a cen­tury ago, was in­stalled on land next to Amer­sham Cricket Club in 2014.

These crosses, with each one rep­re­sent­ing 50,000 deaths, were then trans­ferred to a field near Tesco, in Old Amer­sham, known as Ruck­les Field, in 2015.

Around six weeks be­fore Re­mem­brance Sun­day the crosses were no longer to be seen.

Peter Burgess, from Lit­tle Chal­font, said: “I feel very dis­ap­pointed. It was such a strik­ing im­age which could be seen by all ap­proach­ing from the Bea­cons­field di­rec­tion.

“Where has it gone? The coun­cil should make it a pri­or­ity to find a new site so that the mem­ory can be pre­served. At the very least, could it not go back to Shard­e­loes where it was in the cor­ner be­side the Amer­sham cricket ground? Noth­ing has hap­pened to that land since it was moved. It is just lawn.”

On so­cial me­dia site Streetlife, Deb­bie H said: “That is a real shame – could the coun­cil re­con­sider find­ing another site? It has pro­voked a lot of dis­cus­sion and thought­ful­ness.”

In re­ply, Ann R added: “I agree and it would be timely to have the cross- es re­in­stated some­where else.”

Town coun­cil clerk Lizzie Richard­son said the in­ten­tion was to have the crosses up for a year at Shard­e­loes, but col­league Steve Catanach struck a deal with another farmer to re­lo­cate them to Ruck­les Field, a move which en­abled the crosses to stay for another year.

She added: “It was only go­ing to be for a short pe­riod of time, but we hoped they would be up for longer. The in­ten­tion was that they were go­ing to be up for a year at Shard­e­loes, but we got lucky.

“The deal was they could be for a year and they were there for a year.”

Re­mem­brance: Crosses in Amer­sham to re­mem­ber those who died dur­ing the First World War

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