Not just a moment in time but a legacy forever
Monday 4 August marks the centenary of the start of World War I hostilities for the UK. There are many events taking place across the country as way of remembering those who fell during the conflict. From unveilings to vigils and historical re-enactments, they will be key ways for communities to commemorate the outbreak of war and remember the fallen.
By their very nature however, these events are relatively fleeting. Something the First World War and indeed its lasting impact on today’s society most definitely was, and is, not.
So how can communities continue to recognise WWI’s impact and the sacrifices made during its duration? Centenary Fields offers a way to remember that will be there forever, now and for future generations. Launched with the support of Fields in Trust President HRH The Duke of Cambridge, the Centenary Fields initiative from national charity Fields in Trust will permanently protect the memorial spaces that were created in communities to mark World War I.
“Each moment of play or leisure that takes place on a Memorial Field is, in a way, an act of remembrance” comments The Duke. Centenary Fields will create a living legacy, one that is of untold value to future generations as well as looking back to the sacrifices made during the War. Those who fought and died so that future generations could be free will, through Centenary Fields, have an in memoriam legacy that is alive and active.
Centenary Field looks to take something positive from a very negative event, to ensure that future generations will always have space to run, and to play, as well as communities always having a place to remember. Outdoor recreational space is invaluable for the health and wellbeing of communities who use it.
And as The Duke of Cambridge says “The plan is not terribly complicated – there will be a memorial field that already exists near you – nor is it particularly costly, but it does require support.
Over the past one hundred years, further conflicts have renewed each generation's relationship with these spaces of reflection. 'The war to end all wars' was sadly not the end of the story. Yet pressures are mounting on these spaces if they are to continue to serve their purpose. They may not survive another century without help. Residential and commercial pressures mean many have been already lost, and more will be lost without the kind of safeguarding that Fields in Trust offers.
I believe it is our duty to preserve these important outdoor spaces, not only given the vital role they play at the heart of local communities, but also to help our children, and their children, understand the importance of remembrance.”
Will you have a Centenary Field in your community? Will you take this opportunity to both remember the fallen and look to future generations?