Windlesham Field of Remembrance creates living legacy

The Windlesham Field of Remembrance creates living legacy to mark World War I Centenary

The Windlesham Field of Remembrance in Surrey is to be protected forever as a Centenary Field. Run by national charity Fields in Trust, in partnership with The Royal British Legion, Centenary Fields aims to protect war memorial playing fields, parks and green spaces in memory of those who lost their lives during World War I.

This national programme is a unique way to commemorate the centenary of World War I. It gives land owners and trusts such as Windlesham Field of Remembrance the opportunity to dedicate space to remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives during the conflict, but also to ensure that future generations have valuable green space to enjoy as a living legacy.  Centenary Fields protected through the programme can be war memorial parks or recreation grounds, memorial gardens, parks and recreation grounds that contain war memorials or other significant green spaces.

The Windlesham Field of Remembrance came into being when local landowner Admiral Cochrane sold the 10-acre field to the Trustees in 1950, for the sum of £2750.  The money was raised by public subscription, donations from the people of Windlesham and generous benefactors.  It was dedicated as a memorial to the Windlesham dead of the two World Wars.  In 1987 a further 8½ acres were purchased from The Admiral Cochrane Trust and this woodland area is known as Admiral’s Field.   The Field of Remembrance is still owned by the community today, it is run by a group of voluntary trustees and funded by the local community.  Residents were thrilled when the field was awarded Green Flag Community Status earlier this year for the second year in a row – a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone who fundraises, volunteers and continues to support and protect the field.

Speaking at the launch of the project, in 2014, Fields in Trust President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, said:

“The Centenary Fields project aims to save in perpetuity scores of memorial spaces around the country.  Each moment of play or leisure that takes place on a Memorial Field is, in a way, an act of remembrance.

I am delighted that Fields in Trust have identified these Centenary Fields as a vital part of our national heritage and well-being, which we cannot take for granted.  I encourage Local Authorities to support this cause and to safeguard these living spaces of remembrance for generations to come.”

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, comments:

“This programme is a fitting way for us to mark the sacrifices made by so many in World War I whilst looking to the future through a living remembrance. We are delighted that Field of Remembrance trustees are embracing Centenary Fields, commemorating the centenary of World War I for the people of Windlesham in a way they can appreciate forever. We look forward to many more landowners following their lead.”

Chair of Trustees Suzanne Sharman said:
“We are delighted to have this opportunity from Fields in Trust and The Royal British Legion to mark the centenary of World War I in this unique way. Protecting The Field of Remembrance  means that there will always somewhere to remember the sacrifices of World War I, but also to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful surroundings”.