A memorial to commemorate the work of the Friends Ambulance Unit and the Friends Relief Service has been built at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire.
It presents the Religious Society of Friends and what Quakers stand for to millions of people in the UK and abroad, and provides a space for reflection and silent worship.
Its simple structure in stone brings to mind a meeting for worship. The circular seating serves as a setting for contemplation and expresses our vision of reconciliation in times of conflict. Wording carved on the seats illustrates Friends’ commitment and witness to peace.
On Sunday 2 October, Songs of Praise will have a feature on Conscientiuos Objectors.
Pam Rhodes will be at the former Rowntree’s chocolate factory in York, discovering how the Rowntree family supported wartime Quakers facing imprisonment as conscientious objectors. Chris Lawson explains how the Friends Ambulance Unit was set up to give wartime tasks to those who refused to fight. Peter Rutter, 92, explains why his Christian faith compels him to be a conscientious objector, and how he served on the front line during WW2, and helped rehabilitate concentration camp survivors.
25 Friends from Area Meetings in the Midlands and Wales met at the Quaker Service Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum on the International Day of Peace. In the meeting for worship that was held, a prayer was read for the ‘World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel and we reflected on aspects of the service of the Friends Ambulance Unit and the Friends Relief Service during WW2.
QSMT wishes to make contact with as many surviving FAU and FRS members or their families as possible. The trust has contact already with a number of families but there may be more we have not heard from.