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Park plan to remember Armed Forces sacrifice
A WAR memorial garden could be created in Barton to give estate residents somewhere to reflect and remember the work of the Armed Forces.
Van Coulter, Oxford City Council member for Barton and Sandhills, wants to see part of Meadowbrook Park designated as a memorial green space.
The move comes as the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War approaches.
Mr Coulter said it was important to create a place for residents to go and reflect as there is no war memorial on the estate.
The Royal British Legion and Fields in Trust are urging every local authority in the country to nominate at least one green space in its Centenary Fields Programme.
Labour councillor Mr Coulter, who was re-elected last month, said the land between Bayswater Road and the children’s play area would be a good candidate.
He said the community would be consulted on any plans but the project could see a garden created or a war memorial installed.
He said: “I’d very much like to see a place in Barton for its people to reflect and remember the sacrifice of the millions who served in conflicts. A community garden, with a memorial, could be maintained by local residents.”
The councillor added: “We would place in perpetuity that bit of land as a memorial garden and we would try to do something to make it a place where people can reflect, and somewhere we can honour the members of the Armed Forces.
“Coming toward the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War it is important that we do remember the people who gave up their lives – and in addition we are coming up to the 70th anniversary of D-Day.”
Fields in Trust spokeswoman Kathryn Cook said: “It is a project we are running with the Royal British Legion to mark the centenary of the First World War. We are hoping to get at least one Centenary Field in every local authority area in the UK.”
She added: “We are delighted to hear Oxford is interested in getting involved. It is all about creating a living legacy in communities.”
Chairman of the Royal British Legion in Oxfordshire, Jim Lewendon, welcomed the proposal.
He said: “It sounds like a very good idea. It’s important that we can remember the thousands of men and women that were lost in the ’14 to ’18 war.”
Houses in Waynflete Road, Barton, were built to accommodate those evacuated from the East End of London during the Second World War.
Last month, poppy seeds were planted in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, off Bayswater Road.
The red flowers should appear in August when the 100th anniversary of the start of the war will be marked.
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