Sun Rising
Natural Burial Ground and Nature Reserve
01295 688488

The War Memorial

For some it may seem strange to have a war memorial at a place of such peace as a nature reserve burial ground. However, our memorial does not glorify war. It is a recognition of the gift given by all those who have lost their lives, or lost loved ones, in conflicts old Wreath at the Cairnand new, whether military or civilian. Not only is Sun Risng just a few fields away from the 17th century Civil War battleground of Edge Hill, we are just four miles from the military base at Kineton where youngsters are trained in the art of bomb disposal, so crucial in current conflicts. With current troubles so much in the news, and an awareness of many front lines not spoken of in the media, we felt the burial ground was a perfect antithesis to the chaos of war. Its peace, its embracing serenity, is something we don't take for granted. The grief, the hurt and pain of losing a loved one, is something we are awake to at Sun Rising.

Here we honour the memory of all who have died, near and far, recently and throughout our history.

The cairn was built in October 2010 of local Cotswold stone. The plaques on either side describe its purpose. One of the Plaques at the MemorialBulbs planted around it, wild grasses and poppies, will green through the summer. As well as the silver birch on either side, a mixture of dog rose, guelder rose and dogwood, planted in December 2010, create a horseshoe that will gently grow, holding the cairn in its own little grove.

The official unveiling and dedication of the memorial took place on Saturday 26 March 2011. Major General Tim Cross said a few words, and there was representation for DSDA Kineton, together with other serving soldiers and veterans. BBC War correspondent, Kate Adie supported the day by coming to plant a wild rose. Photographs of the day can be found in our Gallery.

Grave plots for coffin burial, and interment of cremated remains, are available around the memorial for those with military connections. If you are interested in a plot by the memorial, please let us know.

On Armistice Day every year, 11 November, at 11 in the morning, there will be a gathering at the war memorial at Sun Rising. There are traditional elements to this event, but it non-religious, a quiet time for silent prayer, for meditation andreflection. All are welcome. Information about events held at the war memorial will be on our Activity Days page.

Remembering 1642 (Emma Restall Orr)

On days as this when bluster cuts through
the wind so grey it drenches the soul
did you, so weak with hunger and chill
come across these fields of English green?
I feel the weight of each foot fall
the burden of dread, of emptying grief
the drag of clay-mud on each worn-thin boot
and I close my eyes to weep your pain
- no, not pain, for how shallow seems that crushing word
when darkness, bitter and worthless fight
brought you, here, now
those long years ago
The chatter of sparrows, a raindrop hits my face
the wild chasing wind sweeping in from the west
yet my belly is warm, my boots a dry mock fur
and I stand, in silence, in balance, undisturbed
my heart always swollen by the sorrow of my working day
laying to rest those so dearly loved who have slipped away
but I do not forget you, and with each gentle prayer
I gather the remnants of lives lost in war
and with the ravens' wisdom, and the robin's ancient song
amidst the dance autumn leaves in gold and red and grace
I lay you too to rest, now
within this place of peace