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The Memorial to Quaker Service

at the National Memorial Arboretum

 

             

The immediate purpose of the memorial is the remembrance of service by members of the Friends Ambulance Unit and Friends Relief Service during World War II. 

 

For the Society today it is also an opportunity for outreach.  Some 300,000 people visit the National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas near Lichfield, each year. 

 

A memorial which is explicit in its statement of Friends' witness and commitment to peace may well find resonance, provided its message draws on our common humanity.

 

 

QUAKER SERVICE MEMORIAL TRUST

(A registered charity number 1142335)

 

With contributions from a range of sources, funds were  raised  to cover the cost of construction of the memorial which was inaugurated in April 2013.

 

The Trust is involved in continuing work which includes interviewing FAU and FRS people and their families about their service during the war years. We are also working closely with staff at the National Memorial Arboretum 

 

An exhibition about Quaker Service focusing on the FAU and FRS is available from QSMT. Enquiries can be made via email to qsmtrust@hotmail.co.uk

 

Further details  about the Trust are available from its website www.qsmt.org.uk

 

 

THE MEMORIAL

 

 

 

There are six texts, four carved on the backs of the stone seats and two on the front.   The wording on the backs of seats is:

 

1: RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS):  The Society emerged after the civil war of the 1640s with a commitment to live by the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars".  Quakers continue to work worldwide for peace and reconciliation.

On the front of this seat:

Quaker meetings for worship are often held in a circle, a symbol of unity and equality.

On the front base:  TRUTH

2: FRIENDS AMBULANCE UNIT - The Unit enabled conscientious objectors to serve in theatres of war.  They cared for civilian and military casualties of any nation in both World Wars.  Seventeen members were killed in World War II.

On the front base:  EQUALITY

3: FRIENDS RELIEF SERVICE  -  The Service was set up in 1939 to relieve civilian distress.  It worked in a spirit of peace at a time of war in the UK, Europe and further afield.

On the front base:  SIMPLICITY

4: NOBEL PEACE PRIZE  -  "It is the silent help from the nameless to the nameless which is the Quakers' contribution to the promotion of brotherhood between nations"  Citation from the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Quakers in 1947.

On the front of this seat:

"Let your life speak, answering that of God in everyone"

George Fox, 1624 - 1691.

On the front base:  PEACE

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