The National Miners Memorial has been officially unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The memorial will pay tribute to the men, women and children who worked in the coal mining industry over hundreds of years.
The Duke of Gloucester was part of a crowd that attended the unveiling of the National Miners’ Memorial today.
Built from Derbyshire stone, the memorial has a five-metre long bronze frieze depicting the history of mining, according to ITV reports.
This depiction includes a recognition of the contributions made during the two world wars.
The volunteer group Chase Arts for Public Spaces (CHAPS) raised £100,000 to go towards the tribute, which it said was “long overdue”.
Back in July, CHAPS president Mike Mellor said the funding was “all thanks to those who have so generously contributed by making donations; buying commemorative pin badges; buying limited edition prints and donating the 25 bronze plaques which are to be fixed around the Derbyshire stone memorial”.
“It is a national memorial, remembering the work and sacrifices of all those men, women and children who, over hundreds of years, have worked in the UK coal industry.”
The organisation works to fund and promote public works of art, as well as celebrations of heritage.
Andy Decomyn, a British artist and sculptor, is behind the design of the memorial.
The Worcestershire-born DeComyn has also worked on other pieces featured in the National Memorial Arboretum, including the Shot at Dawn Memorial.
Western Daily Press)
The official service of dedication was led by the Bishop of Lichfield, Rt Rev’d Dr Michael Ipgrave OBE.
It also featured musical contributions from Lea Hall Brass Band and choristers from Wolverhampton and Walsall Orpheus Male Voice Choirs.
The National Memorial Arboretum, which sits on the edge of the National Forest in Staffordshire, is an impressive 150-acre site.
It welcomes more than 300,000 visitors a year, working to make sure that remembrance is passed on through generations.
According to the Arboretum’s website, the core focuses of the site are to ensure the unique contribution of those who have served is never forgotten, and that the “baton of Remembrance” is passed on through the generations.