A service to unveil the new Oddfellows memorial

Members of a society who lost their lives in combat have been remembered at the National Memorial Arboretum.

A service to unveil the new Oddfellows memorial

The Oddfellows group unveiled a new memorial at a service in Alrewas yesterday (1st August).

The polished blue granite memorial stands around six feet tall after being funded by a donation of £11,000 from branches of the society across the UK.

The inscription makes reference to how the society’s branches paid the contributions for members who were fighting in the First and Second World Wars so their families would continue to be looked after.

Records show that in World War One alone, 20,000 Oddfellows members died in military action.

In 1919, the Orphan Gift Fund was set up by the society to help youngsters left behind when parents were killed in service. It is still in operation today and supports 55 children and young adults.

Oddfellows CEO Jane Nelson said: “Despite the years that have passed, this memorial stands as testament to how our society still feel incredibly indebted to those members who serve our country.

“Thank you to all the branches who made this memorial a reality.

“The setting at the National Arboretum makes this tribute feel even more significant, being part of a community of others who will never forget.

“At our annual conference, without fail, we hold a wreath-laying ceremony at a local war memorial to keep the sacrifices our members made, and are still making within Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, front-of-mind.

“It’s wonderful that we now have a year-round, lasting tribute to honour them.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.