A War Veteran speaks out…

Fair Oak War Memorial

The name of Fair Oak’s War Memorial should not be changed. That is the opinion of Norman Brown MBE, one of Hampshire’s senior surviving WW2 veterans and Chairman of the Eastleigh & Chandlers Ford District branch of the Royal British Legion.

Tonight, Fair Oak Parish Councillors will meet to decide if the name of the village’s memorial should be changed to ‘Fair Oak Peace Memorial’ or simply “The Memorial”.

Ex Sapper Norman, 83, served in France and Belgium during the war and was recently made an an MBE in the Queens New Year Honours.

Speaking at his Chandlers Ford home Norman said:

” I believe peace memorials are intended to commemorate civilian wartime losses. With our war memorials we remember the names of all those lads and lasses from the area who died serving the country in the 1914 -18 and the 1939 -45 war as well as those we have lost in recent conflicts.”

He went on to say:

“In Eastleigh the names of the civilian wartime dead are inscribed in the parish book of remembrance and we commemorate them every Remembrance Sunday.”

“We even parade horses on Remembrance Day to commemorate the large number of horses who died in service during the First World War”.

Norman explained he was not against the idea of a separate peace memorial and would support the idea of one in the borough.

Fair Oak and Horton Heath Parish Council meet tonight at Fair Oak Village Hall, Shorts Road at 7.30pm.

The meeting is open to the public.

[poll id=”2″]

Do you agree with Norman? Surely Old Soldiers should decide the best way to remember their fallen comrades? What do you think?

  9 comments for “A War Veteran speaks out…

  1. January 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm


    If you ever needed to ask yourself if Parish Council’s are a bad idea, then this is your answer. With all the problems that face the parish and the community of Fair Oak, why in the name of common sense are these ‘do gooders’ wasting valuable time and resources to justify their existence by trying to change the name of a sacred memorial to the fallen of all wars and conflicts. These brave men and woman, who we pay thanks to only once a year, died in WAR campaigns. They were not peace campaigns, and they did not die under a flag of peace. They died fighting for their country in wars against an enemy to protect freedom and rights. Perhaps they should call it the Freedom Memorial.!! That is a sarcastic comment , I don’t want to give these people any more stupid ideas..!!

  2. Davo
    January 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Never mind cahnging the name of the memorial what about givng it a good scrub it hasnt been cleaned since they moved it 20 years ago.

  3. Peter Stewart
    January 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Only one Fair Oak Parish Councillor voted against changing the name to “peace” memorial and that was Hugh McGuinness (UKIP).

  4. January 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    How dare these people take it upon themselves to change one word of this historical memorial to those who fought and died in two world WARS! YES WARS!.All these memorials in our villages our towns and our cities are their as symbols of the bravery and courage of our men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. It would be nothing less than a despicable desecration, and a lasting memory of the contempt for our veterans shown by those on the council who condone this act. Have this particular council got so little to do that they have even spent time discussing this? One would have thought with all the other issues facing their parishioners the council time could be better spent on the immediate problems like the state of the roads / poor educational facilities / the serious lack of NHS dentists / and the more serious financial crisis facing many of their parishioners due to the recent expenses scandal and the greedy banks,we all know that it will be us the tax payer who will eventually pick up the bill through our council taxes.
    Fair oak councilors need to think very carefully about this , it seems only one councilor opposed it and I truly hope his/her? name is remembered when the General election comes round, the people of Fair oak have a great sense of honour and loyalty especially to those fought for their freedom to vote!.

  5. Mary Young
    January 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Two dictionary definitions of the word ‘memorial’ are ‘serving to preserve the memory of anything’ and ‘done in remembrance of a person, event, etc.

    The definition of ‘war memorial’ is ‘a monument erected to the memory of those who died in a war’.

    So the Fair Oak War Memorial, as with thousands of other War Memorials, was erected to preserve the memory of those who gave their lives in war and conflict.

    They did not give their lives in times of peace, neither were they civilian victims as, for example, were the Hiroshima civilians, honoured by a Peace Memorial. Therefore the Fair Oak memorial is not a Peace Memorial and to redefine it as such constitutes, to my mind, misrepresentation.

    • January 20, 2010 at 7:29 pm


      ‘misrepresentation’ is item 2 on the Eastleigh ‘Lib Dem’ manifesto. It is closely followed by ‘deceive’ and ‘denial’.

      Our Council, Our Town, OUR VOTE.!!

      • Peter Stewart
        January 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm


        When the democratic cat’s away, the totalitarian mice will play. Parish Councils get away with such anti-democratic nonsense because central government does.

        Comment moderated

  6. February 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I think we should respect the opinions of old sweats like Norman. It’s their memorial to their comrades if they want to call it a peace memorial that would be fine by me.

  7. February 8, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Well said Norman and congratulations on your MBE.

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