Armistice memorial event to raise awareness to save Sheffield’s living war memorial

A mass day long drawing and painting session will be held on Western Road, Crookes as part of Armistice Day remembrance.

Organiser and artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall, said: “The 53 trees are the ‘living’ memorial. Each tree represents a soldier who did not return from the Great War.

“There’s no longer a World War One memory left in the world and we need to find ways to engage and invigorate the message and their huge significance.”

Professional and amateur artists will be painting or drawing a picture of every memorial tree on Western Road to raise awareness for the trees’ historical significance.

Organisers hope that every tree will be painted or drawn by the end of the day, they will then be photographed and posted in an online gallery and shared at an exhibition on the 24 November – 3 December at Yellow Arch Studios.

The Western Road Memorial trees were planted in 1919 to commemorate the soldiers who were ex-pupils of former Western Road Council School who fought in WW1, many of whom did not return.

Although the trees are recognised by the Imperial War Museum in London and the War Memorials Trust as a living war memorial, Sheffield City Council have planned to fell 23 of the trees and replace them as part of the Streets Ahead programme.

Campaigners claim that many of the trees that have been marked as diseased or dangerous are in fact healthy and do not need to be cut down.

The programme has received much controversy in Sheffield over the past five years. Anger from the council seems to be building, as some protestors and Councillor for Sharrow and Nether Edge, Alison Teal, were potentially facing sentences after defying their injunctions while trying to stop the tree felling.

However, Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG) and their supporters have not been deterred and last month held a procession and rally that was attended by hundreds of people outside the City Hall to campaign for an end to the felling.

Mr Llywelyn Hall, said: “Our hope is that the perfectly healthy trees will be saved from the chop and remain as intended when planted in 1919.”

The event is family friendly and there are activities for children to take part in throughout the day. A remembrance parade and wreath laying service will be held at 10:45 am and a minute’s silence held at 11 am.

Information for the memorial can be found here and you can email to register for the event.

 

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