National Arboretum opens First World War Centenary trails

(BS) Arboretum East, Shot At Dawn, statue in profile

The UK’s National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire will launch its First World War Centenary trails on Saturday 29 March.

The 2km Discovery Trail will give visitors to the Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, the chance to explore some of the key memorials linked to the First World War and the stories behind them.

The Shot at Dawn Trail (also 2km) tells visitors about specific trees and memorials connected to the First World War. This trail takes about an hour and a half to complete and incorporates the Shot at Dawn memorial, which commemorates the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers shot for cowardice or desertion during the war.

The third route, known as the Poppy Field Trail (2.5 km) passes though some of the Arboretum’s woodland avenues and the poppy field. Incorporating a number of significant First World War memorials.

Poppy field - David Millington

Managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum Sarah Montgomery said: ‘We are very excited to be launching our three First World War trails, which have been carefully created with all our visitors in mind. We are sure that people will be captivated by the stories behind the trees and memorials which link them to this incredible period in history.’

The Arboretum is free to enter and printed trail guides are available from the visitor centre. Route markers are positioned in the grounds to help show the way.

For more information, click here. In addition, the Arboretum is part of the Staffordshire Great War Trail; an interactive trail which takes in key First World War sites across the county. To find out more, click here.

(BS) Gallipoli Memorial - general

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