There is at least three memorials now in Cannon Hill Park. Including the Boer War Memorial, also the Boy Scouts War Memorial (of 1924) near the Nature Centre. And more recently the memorial to the Sousse and Bardo Terrorist Attacks (which happened in 2015). This was unveiled by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex in March 2019.

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Memorials in Cannon Hill Park





There is at least three memorials now in Cannon Hill Park. Including the Boer War Memorial, also the Boy Scouts War Memorial (of 1924) near the Nature Centre. And more recently the memorial to the Sousse and Bardo Terrorist Attacks (which happened in 2015). This was unveiled by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex in March 2019.


Did you know that Cannon Hill Park has three memorials within the park?

The oldest of the three was the Boer War Memorial, which is now Grade II* listed. It was sculpted by Albert Toft. It was installed in 1906. The Boer War was fought in South Africa from 1899-1902 (Joseph Chamberlain was the Minister at the time that this war broke out).

The second oldest is the Boy Scouts War Memorial, on Queens Drive, on the footpath towards the Birmingham Nature Centre. It is Grade II listed and dates to 1924 in memory of local Boy Scouts who lost their lives in the First World War. The sculptor was William Haywood. It was later modified to remember those lives lost during the Second World War.

The most recent memorial sculpture is called Infinite Wave and was unveiled in March 2019 by HRH the Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry) in memory of the victims of the 2015 Sousse and Bardo Terrorist Attacks. It was designed by George King Architects.

 

Boer War Memorial

The Second Boer War was fought between 1899 and 1902 between the British Empire and two independent Boer states over the Empire's influence in South Africa. At the time Birmingham's own Joseph Chamberlain was the British Colonial Secretary. The Boer War Memorial was proposed to be in either Old Square or on Corporation Street in the City Centre but this was rejected in favour of Cannon Hill Park. This decision was taken in 1904. The memorial was designed by Albert Toft and unveiled in 1906. It was cleaned and repaired in 2012. It is now Grade II* listed.

The following photos below were taken in May 2009 on my then mobile phone camera, so the bronze was looking quite green at the time.

There was a cannon at the front.

Names of the soldiers around the sides.

And at the back of the plinth.

This side has a bronze plaque inscribed "TO  THE GLORIOUS MEMORY OF THE  SONS OF BIRMINGHAM  WHO FELL IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899-1902  AND TO PERPETUATE  THE EXAMPLE OF ALL WHO  SERVED IN THE WAR THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED BY THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS" .

By November 2009, I took my first bridge camera for a photo session around Cannon Hill Park, and that meant getting new photos of the Boer War Memorial (to try and improve on the mobile shots from the previous Spring). This was the approach from the back.

A close up of the statue. There is a large figure of a woman in the middle. Then a pair of male soldiers either side of a cannon.

Further back towards the Boer War Memorial. The flower beds didn't have much in them at this point.

The statue was surrounded by all these benches and bins. People who sit here, probably don't even realise what this memorial is for or represents. As not many people know about the Boer War (compared to WW1 and WW2).

The first of three plaques with the names of fallen Birmingham soldiers from the Boer War (1899-1902).

The second names plaque.

And the third names plaque.

I have been back to Cannon Hill Park many times over the years since, but not got new photos of the Boer War Memorial, even after it was restored (wasn't thinking about it).

Boy Scouts War Memorial

Queen's Ride is the road / path near Cannon Hill Park, and part of it is now the public car park of the park. Beyond the bollards is this war memorial on the walk towards the entrance of what was the Birmingham Nature Centre (now Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Centre). The Boy Scouts War Memorial has been Grade II listed since 2016. It was unveiled on the 27th July 1924 in memory of the local Boy Scouts who lost their lives during the First World War. The obelisk was designed by local Birmingham architect William Hayward (1877-1957). The memorial was conserved in 2012 by the Birmingham Museums Trust and Birmingham City Council.

The following photos were taken in December 2010 when there was a light dusting of snow on the ground.

Close up of the Boy Scouts War Memorial. Behind you can see the bollards on the Queen's Ride (car park behind). Queen's Ride was laid out in 1897 as a riding track, and later modified in 1920 when an avenue of trees was planted to commemorate the fallen Scouts.

This view of the Boy Scouts War Memorial towards the trees that line the path towards the Pershore Road.

In the late Victorian period, it is possible that people rode their horses and carts down here, but these days it's most likely to be cyclists on their bikes. The only cars at this end (or vans) from the Council groundsmen who maintain the park. This way to the entrance of the Nature Centre.

Was a couple of poppy wreaths at the base of the obelisk. From the Scouts. I would assume they were laid in early November 2010.

I have walked this route the odd time over the years. In the summer there is always colourful flowers planted around the Boy Scouts War Memorial. This was in July 2013.

More of the same in August 2014, red flowers, pink flowers and white flowers all the way around the obelisk.

In July 2018 there was mostly red flowers around the obelisk. You can tell that the memorial had been restored / cleaned up compared to my earlier photos. You can even see a smiley face on this side!

Infinite Wave

Birmingham's Cannon Hill Park was chosen to be the location of the Sousee and Bardo Memorial. It is a monument to the 31 British Nationals who lost their lives in two terrorists attacks in Tunisia in 2015. The project was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It was unveiled in March 2019 by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex at a ceremony attended by over 300 guests. The architect was George King Architects.

I initially got photos of it in late February 2019, but was still barriers around it. I later came back for a proper look at it during late May 2019.

As you can see at the end of February 2019, Infinite Wave was almost complete but was barriers around it.

This was a few days before Prince Harry travelled to Birmingham to unveiled the memorial.

I couldn't get too close as the barriers were also near the main path in the park, but I would return near the end of the Spring for some updates.

I popped back to Cannon Hill Park near the end of May 2019 for a full look at the Sousse Memorial. Now known as Infinite Wave.

There is a path that leads up to the memorial sculpture.

Like with the other memorials in the park, there was this metal memorial plaque listing the naems of the victims of the Sousse and Bardo Terrorist Attacks.

Now time to walk around the wavey sculpture.

It meant going off the path and onto the grass.

It looks a bit like a spring, or one of those toys that you can push down the stairs, or between your hands.

It forms 31 individual streams, one for each victim who lost their lives in the attacks.

There is an area in the middle that visitors can stand in and admire the memorial.

Young children would probably run around in circles and have fun.

It pretty much looks the same on the other side.

I wonder if when the pandemic ends, if the Government would consider having a memorial here for those lost to the virus? What kind of memorial would you like to see in Cannon Hill Park for that?

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020