Derby News Comment

Alter-Rock (Derby) obscures the memory of the War Dead.

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In the grounds of St James Church in the Arboretum district of Derby stands a memorial to those local men who died in World War 1.

“This cross was erected in Proud and Thankful memory of the men from the Church and Parish of St James, Derby who fell in the Great European War 1914-1918”

The remainder of the faces are covered with the names of the men who were killed…so we never forget their sacrifice.

St James Church is no longer a working church having been formally re-assigned for leisure purposes. The current users of the facility,  Alter Rock Climbing Centre, have been careful in causing the minimal amount of damage to the building in the conversion process; this, I believe, is all inside the building. From the outside one would never know that the church housed a climbing club – apart from the large, yellow sign, attached to the corner railings.

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Apart from being unsightly, it is not sensitive to the fact that it is attached to a church, nor the fact that it has hidden from view, the War Memorial. It is disrespectful to the memory of those that died in the War to blank out any opportunity for the passing public to recognize the names of these men. In the year of the Centenary I am amazed that no one from Alter Rock nor the St James Church Committee saw fit to position the sign somewhere else, and to show some care to the area surrounding the memorial.

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Perhaps a small team of volunteers from the Club can spend a few hours de-weeding the area, and re-siting the banner in readiness for Remembrance Sunday this year?

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