We've invited the RBL to sit with us
PUBLISHED: 07:10 02 May 2014
I wish to respond to the comments made within the Exmouth Journal last week ("'Disgusted and angry' over wreath disposal", April 24, page one).
It was not, and is not, the intention of the Exmouth War & Flagpole Memorial Committee (EWFMC) to cause any distress to the residents of Exmouth with regards to the removal of the wreaths from the Exmouth war memorial.
The wreaths normally stay in situ for up to a month after Remembrance Day.
However, due to the refurbishment of the Strand Gardens the war memorial has been opened up and has had its share of adverse publicity – namely individuals climbing, running around and/or eating their lunch on it.
It was decided by the committee that last year, and this year, the wreaths would be left for a little longer, which has helped to keep most individuals off the memorial.
Over the past years the committee has removed the wreaths and tidied up the area. It has also cleaned and maintained the memorial ready for Armed Forces Day and other civic functions.
Funds for this were found from local donations and Mr Lionel Howell, who was the chairman of the war memorial.
Now the wreaths have been removed, the committee are able to repaint, clean and tidy the memorial in readiness for the annual flower display upon the memorial.
The committee do not wish to appear obstructive to other persons or organisations who wish to assist with the war memorial.
At no point was myself or any other person or organisation aware that the RBL wanted to keep the wreaths in situ throughout the year.
To this end the committee would like to invite Chris Brookbank, the Exmouth RBL Poppy Appeal organiser, to attend our meetings to ensure that the RBL are aware of what is going on and report back to RBL members.
By this action it is hoped that the good work within the town can move forward not backwards.
This year a number of events will be taking place within the Strand Gardens in support of those who gallantly lost their lives for us.
The first of such events will be the Annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday, July 5, which will be remembering the start of World War One and not the ending of the war.
This will be followed by a National Church Memorial Day on Monday, August 4, remembering the start of the war.
Mr Jeff Trail
Exmouth War & Flagpole Memorial Committee