Hundreds of crosses removed from memorial field
Community anger over move before Remembrance
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