Express & Star

Appeal launched for memorial to the entertainers who kept up morale during the wars

Plans for a memorial to honour the entertainers who kept the troops' morale up during the wars have been drawn up by Shropshire's British Ironwork Centre.

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An artist's impression of the ENSA memorial

The picturesque stage will be built so that it can be stood on by visitors to the National Memorial Arboretum, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, so they could imagine something of the lives of the members of the Entertainments National Service Association.

The Oswestry-based centre, is appealing to members of the public to donate broken or unwanted musical instruments to be used in the creation of the memorial.

The ENSA Memorial Appeal has been set up to raise the necessary funds to commission the memorial.

The aim is to honour those men and women of the showbusiness profession who, organisers say, did so much to raise the morale of the country during the Second World War, both at home and on the front line as part of ENSA, Stars in Battledress, RAF Gang Shows and other similar organisations.

Clive Knowles, from The British Ironwork Centre, said that as part of the centre's ethos of recycling it wanted to use as many recycled items as possible in the memorial.

"We would love people to donated musical instruments, from a broken piano to unloved trumpets," he said.

"There are memorials to all the different forces who took part in battle, but there is nothing in recognition of the wonderful men and women who entertained the troops."

"We like to imagine visitors to the arboretum standing on it and posing for photos - as if they themselves are the entertainers."

Instruments can be dropped off at the British Ironwork Centre south of Oswestry, and more information about the appeal can be found online at

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