War Memorial Booklet
Loaned by Mr. Derek Fussell. The original booklet from the unveiling ceremony of the Arch of Remembrance is displayed here, and a copy reproduced for you to read through.
The War Memorial, the Arch of Remembrance, in Leicester’s Victoria Park Elizabeth had 16 children in total, 8 sons and 8 daughters, but nevertheless was unable to recover from her loss and remained severely depressed until the end of her life.
Annie Glover lived in Wolsey Street and had three sons killed in the war.
There was debate about the location chosen for the War memorial. The first idea was to use some of the land around the historic site of Leicester Castle. When this proposal was rejected, Town Hall Square was suggested, but because that would have meant moving the lion fountain this was also rejected. Finally the site on Victoria Park was chosen. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens who had designed the Cenotaph in London, and cost £25,000.
Strangely the families of the bereaved mothers were not told of the ceremony; one of Elizabeth’s grandsons was swimming at the Lido when friends told him that his Grandma was unveiling a memorial on Victoria Park. It was common in those days to be modest and underplay one’s achievements.
The War Memorial was unveiled in a ceremony on July 4th 1925 by two bereaved mothers, Elizabeth Butler and Annie Glover, two local women whose sons went to war and never returned. A crowd of 30,000 gathered for the unveiling. The photo is of Elizabeth Butler and her husband Ephraim.
Elizabeth Butler lived in Harrison Road, Belgrave, and lost four sons. Private Arthur Butler of the 1st/5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers died on the 14th November 1916 aged 38, and is remembered on the Thiepval memorial as he has no known grave. His brother Private Bertie Butler of the 1st/4th battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment died on 22nd April 1917 aged only 19, and is listed on the Arras Memorial as his body was not recovered either. Their brother Ephraim served in a London Regiment and is buried in Havringcourt Cemetery, and Elizabeth’s’ fourth son to die as a result of the Great War was Jack who died of consumption and exposure in 1918.