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Birmingham New Street war memorial donated to National Memorial Arboretum

Tuesday 17 Dec 2013

North West & West Midlands

One of two war memorial plaques from Birmingham New Street station has been donated by Network Rail to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for display as part of its valued collection of over 300 memorials.

A total of 3,719 men of the London and North Western railway died on war service in the Great War and the memorials from Birmingham New Street were on display in the old station concourse prior to its closure for complete refurbishment in April this year.

The second memorial has been reinstated on display in the first part of the new station. When the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station completes in 2015 a newly designed memorial featuring the names of the fallen will be unveiled in the new public square.

Andy Savage, executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, said: “The memorials featured at Birmingham New Street station are part of a series of local memorials from along the London & North Western railway line, with the main memorial located at London Euston station. The War Memorials Archive of the Imperial War Museum records over 450 railway war memorials, many of which have not survived, so we are delighted that these memorial plaques are being well preserved and that one will be displayed at the National Memorial Arboretum.”

Paul Kennedy, curator at the National Memorial Arboretum said: “We welcome the addition of the Birmingham New Street plaque to our diverse range of memorials and would like to thank the Railway Heritage Trust and Network Rail for donating it.”

Notes to editors

The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station and creation of Grand Central Birmingham shopping centre is backed by Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, Department for Transport, Centro, European Development Fund and Advantage West Midlands.

Network Rail is delivering the project alongside its delivery partner Mace and delivers:

Space to accommodate passenger growth: the new concourse will be three and a half times bigger than at present and will have natural light flood throughout the giant atrium.

Better access for all: over 30 new escalators and 15 new public lifts will make it much easier to travel between the platforms and the concourse above.

Cutting edge design: a stunning new station façade will create a new landmark building in the heart of Birmingham.

The station will remain open throughout the redevelopment. The first half of the new station concourse opened to passengers in April 2013. Work has now started to redevelop the old station and Pallasades shopping centre above into Grand Central. The project completes in 2015.

The Railway Heritage Trust is a company limited by guarantee and owned by its directors. It was formed in 1985, and is sponsored by Network Rail and the Highways Agency (successors to BRB (Residuary) Ltd.), although it is independent of both. It has two objectives, to give grants to:

1. improve the heritage features of listed buildings and structures, or such buildings and structures in a conservation area, and

2. to help find new uses for such buildings and structures when they no longer have operational use on the railway.

The Trust has awarded over 1,380 grants, to a total value of some £44 million, in its 28 years of existence. It has a current turnover of some £2 million a year, 90% of which is awarded as grants. In addition to awarding grants, it also achieves its objectives by giving advice or comment when required.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round Centre for Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. Sited in the heart of the Nation, with 50,000 maturing trees and nearly 300 memorials, it is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who serve their country or who have died in conflict. The Arboretum is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities.

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Media Relations (North West & West Midlands)
Media Relations (North West & West Midlands)
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