War Memorials Trust

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War Memorials Trust
Formation7 May 1997
Legal statusRegistered charity
Purposeprotection and conservation of war memorials in the UK
Region served
HRH the Duchess of Cornwall

War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK. The charity provides free information and advice as well as administering grant schemes for the repair and conservation of war memorials.

War Memorials Trust works with other organisations such as Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland to better safeguard the future of war memorials in both their social and historical context.


The charity’s four objectives are:

  1. To monitor the condition of war memorials and to encourage protection and conservation.
  2. To provide expert advice to those involved in war memorial projects, to act as the specialist organisation for war memorial conservation issues and to facilitate repair and conservation through grants schemes.
  3. To work with relevant organisations to encourage them to accept responsibility for war memorials and recognise the need to undertake repair and conservation work.
  4. To build a greater understanding of war memorial heritage and raise awareness of the issues surrounding war memorial conservation.[2]


War Memorials Trust was registered as a charity on 7 May 1997.[3] It was originally known as Friends of War Memorials. Sir Donald Thompson, then MP for Calderdale, Winston S Churchill, grandson of the wartime Prime Minister, and Ian Davidson, a former Royal Marine, were amongst those involved in founding the charity.[4] Sir Donald Thompson became the Director-General of the charity and Winston S Churchill the President.

The Trust’s charity deed outlines the aim "… to educate the public and to foster patriotism and good citizenship by remembering those who have fallen in war by preserving and maintaining war memorials."[5]

At the end of 2004 the Trustees of the charity decided upon a new name, War Memorials Trust, to replace Friends of War Memorials. The change came into effect in January 2005, along with a change of logo.[6]

Conservation advice[edit]

War Memorials Trust has a conservation team who provide free advice about war memorial issues. In 2015-16 the charity dealt with 595 new cases and 911 general enquiries (2014: 609 new cases, 1,041 general enquiries).[7]

Cases that the Trust has recently been involved with include:

  • Dalgety Spillers memorial plaques, Wisbech - Dalgety Spillers memorial plaques were held in storage for a decade. In 2014 a successful approach by War Memorials Trust was made to Nestle Purina PetCare UK Ltd, into which Dalgety Spillers was subsumed. The memorials were restored and on display for a special rededication ceremony on 11 November 2014.[8]
  • Todmorden Garden of Remembrance – after several years of working with one of their Regional Volunteers concerned about theft of two Grade II listed statues by the sculptor Gilbert Bayes from the Garden, a grant from War Memorials Trust supported the production of replacements. The reinstated statues were unveiled at a rededication service on 12 October 2014.[9][10]
  • Chesham war memorial – a press story reporting vandalism of the war memorial was picked up by the Trust. The words 'war is not glorious' had been painted onto the plaques and plinth. War Memorials Trust's Conservation Team contacted Chesham Town Council to offer advice about how to remove the graffiti following best conservation practice to minimise any further damage.[11]

Grant schemes[edit]

War Memorials Trust administers grant schemes which between them cover the whole of the UK. These grants are for the repair and conservation of war memorials.[12]

In 2015-16 War Memorials Trust managed the following Grant Schemes:

  • Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund[13] - funded by Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish government. In 2015-16, 33 offers were made to the value of £314,025 (2014: 40 offers, £296,945)[14]
  • War Memorials Trust Grants Scheme[15] - funded by First World War Memorials Programme and War Memorials Trust fundraising. Originally named the Small Grants Scheme in 1998 it has evolved over the years. In 2015-16, 100 offers were made to the value of £537,239 (2014: 135 offers, £150,090)[16]
  • Grants for War Memorials[17] - funded by the First World War Memorials Programme and Historic England. It was first launched in 2000 taking many forms over the years. This scheme did not make any Grant Offers in 2015-16 but historic projects were managed[18]

Projects funded by the Trust include:

Current projects and campaigns[edit]

First World War Memorials Programme[edit]

This partnership Programme, supported by the UK government through the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, is composed of Civic Voice, Historic England, Imperial War Museums and War Memorials Trust. The Programme aims to improve public engagement with their war memorials throughout the centenary of the First World War, as well as to encourage repair and conservation works.[24]

In Memoriam 2014[edit]

In Memoriam 2014 is a partnership between War Memorials Trust and the SmartWater Foundation to protect war memorials with metal elements from theft and damage by marking them with a forensic liquid called SmartWater.[25][26]

Councils that have taken advantage of the scheme include:

War Memorials Officer campaign[edit]

In November 2010, the Trust launched a campaign to identify a War Memorials Officer (WMO) at each local authority in the UK. A WMO is the main point of contact at that council regarding war memorial issues for the public and the Trust. By the end of 2015-16, 290 War Memorials Officers had been identified.[42]

Learning programme[edit]

In August 2011 War Memorials Trust launched its youth focused learning programme, 'We will always remember.' The aim of this programme is to build a greater understanding of war memorial heritage among young people so that they can continue to protect war memorials in the future as custodians. The learning programme provides National Curriculum linked lesson materials for primary and secondary school teachers, and offers talks or assemblies for schools and youth groups such as Scouts, Cadets and Duke of Edinburgh Award participants.[43]


War Memorials Trust has a membership consisting of individuals and organisations. On 31 March 2016 the charity had 2,755 members (2014: 2,798).[44]


Regional volunteers undertake a range of activities such as monitoring the condition of local war memorials and reporting those at risk to the Trust, researching and applying for the listing of war memorials and promoting the charity by giving talks and organising events.[45] War Memorials Trust had 188 Regional Volunteers throughout the UK on 31 March 2016 (2014: 181).[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "War Memorials Trust: Review of Activities; Administration, publications and PR" (PDF). Charity Commission. p. 8. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  2. ^ War Memorials Trust. Team London. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  3. ^ War Memorials Trust, Charity framework. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  4. ^ History. War Memorials. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  5. ^ War Memorials Trust, Charity Framework Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  6. ^ Logo. War Memorials. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  7. ^ Trustees' report and accounts, Review of activities: Conservation, p3. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  8. ^ Wisbech factory staff join Remembrance ceremony as three bronze war memorials are re-dedicated at Purina site. Wisbech Standard. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  9. ^ Town-backed £15k project to replace First World War memorials. The Argus. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  10. ^ Stolen Todmorden war memorials to be replaced. Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  11. ^ Chesham War Memorial defaced with 'disgusting' graffiti. Get Bucks. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  12. ^ Heritage Funding Directory. Heritage Alliance. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  13. ^ Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  14. ^ Trustees' Report and Accounts, Review of Activities: Conservation, p5. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  15. ^ Trustees' Report and Accounts, Review of Activities: Conservation, p.4. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  16. ^ Trustees' Report and Account, Review of Activities: Conservation, p5. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  17. ^ Heritage Funding Directory. Heritage Alliance. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  18. ^ Trustees' Report and Accounts, Review of Activities: Conservation, p4. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  19. ^ Historic Bootle war memorial to be returned to its former glory. Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  20. ^ Bootle War Memorial Rededication Event Good News Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  21. ^ Norwich First World War Roll of Honour to have new home on Armistice Day. Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  22. ^ War memorial is set to return to its former glory thanks to funding success. Cheltenham Borough Council. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  23. ^ Your News: A living memorial at Rocks by Rail. Rutland Times. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  24. ^ First World War centenary: Crumbling war memorials to be conserved through £3 million repair fund. The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  25. ^ Free Smartwater crime reduction protection for war memorials. Doncaster Free Press. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  26. ^ Frances Moreton: We must all protect memorials to the fallen. Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  27. ^ 'Smartwater' helps protect war memorials. Stockton Town Talk. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  28. ^ Smart thinking to protect Stockton war memorials. Evening Gazette. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  29. ^ Hi-tech move to protect Stockton war memorials. BBC News. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  30. ^ A smart way to foil war memorial metal thieves. The Northern Echo. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  31. ^ Smart guarding against thieves. Lytham St Anne's Express. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  32. ^ Protection for war memorials from metal thieves. Hucknall Dispatch. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  33. ^ Plaques marked to stop scrap thefts. Nottingham Post. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  34. ^ Barr Beacon in Walsall to get £440,000 revamp. BBC News Birmingham and Black Country. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  35. ^ Join the Smart brigade and protect your war memorial. Nottingham Post. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  36. ^ Action urged in plan to protect war memorials from 'upsetting' thefts. Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  37. ^ Derbyshire British Legion backs protecting war memorials. BBC News Derby. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  38. ^ Ellesmere's smart response to PM's memorial concerns. Border Counties Advertiser. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  39. ^ Marker plan to protect Borders war memorial. The Southern Reporter. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  40. ^ Stolen Carshalton war memorial plaques replaced. BBC News London. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  41. ^ War memorials get invisible security markings as campaign against metal thieves stepped up. Sutton Guardian. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  42. ^ Trustees' Report and Accounts, Review of Activities: Conservation, p6. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  43. ^ What War Memorials Trust's Learning Programme does. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  44. ^ Trustees' Report and Accounts, Review of Activities: Administration, publications and PR, p8. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  45. ^ University of Kent. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  46. ^ Trustees' Report and Accounts, Review of activities: Volunteers, p7. Charity Commission. Retrieved 2017-02-07.

External links[edit]