I’ve outlined the key dimensions of Gwersyllt war memorial in a previous post, but it seems fitting to revisit my local memorial to address how it was decked out following the 100th anniversary memorial service on 11th November 2018.
Before doing so, some words to update you on its shifting appearance. Principally, in recent years, the pairing of benches have been replaced by new ones that epitomise a wider craze for silhouetted scenes in iron on the backs of benches. I’ve seen these elsewhere, including at the National Memorial Arboretum. Gwersyllt Community Council have funded one for each of the world wars.
Meanwhile, Gwersyllt eschewed the ludicrous confetti of poppies I’ve seen elsewhere, restricting the votives largely to crosses and wreaths at the base of the pylon itself, combined with flowers in the one individual flower-holder. A temporary extension to the use of silhouettes to evoke the absence of soldiers were two perspex shapes of the upper-halves of adult males.
There was also painted slates and a series of painted pebbles bearing poppies and other messages to memorialise the war dead. I presume the latter are created by school children and reflect a wider tradition of leaving painted pebbles at key memorial and heritage locations.
Interestingly, the intense yet restricted augmentation of the Gwersyllt memorial for the 100th anniversary remains rather muted when set against the monumental scale of the pylon and the wider memorial garden defined by two gates and a stone and iron wall. This contrasts to other memorials I’ve seen in the region, where the poppies have almost buried the memorials. Overall, the memorial retains its integrity and remains readily appreciated in a fashion it possessed before the anniversary.