Gents - your generosity shows no bounds. But, like life, this is far from simple. Here's my summary:
This topic began when Johnny, via Facebook, became involved in a discussion which was led by Darryl Cartwright, with Johnny suggesting to us that this was a project worthy of Noah's Arc. Darryl's idea was to fund a monument similar to that already in place for other regiments.
Reading all of your posts and other sources it is clear that this was nothing new or unique. Over recent times other Members of Noah's Arc have made similar comments about the lack of a fitting memorial to the 14th/20th King's Hussars.
Early in the topic Johnny and myself discussed the issue and favoured the idea of letting Darryl get on with the efforts that he had already begun; collecting potential monetary supporters, approaching the National Arboretum (NA) for details of costs, procedures etc. We anticipated some of the issues that might arise and concluded that, if Noah's Arc were to get involved, it would be as part of a joint committee - along with Darryl.
We learnt that the NA themselves had recognised the lack of involvement at the Arboretum of many famous Regiments, and that they had proposed the building of a 'Heroes Square', located alongside the Millennium Chapel and the visitor centre. This involves the laying of suitably inscribed dedicated paving stones at a forecast cost of £3,000 each. The square is planned for an opening in 2015.
We then learned that in November, at an annual meeting between all 'Cavalry Colonels of Regiment', the paving stones idea was up for discussion. Whether this involves other memorials we know not.
It has become clear that the acceptance by NA for the erection of a freestanding memorial will be costly; design & build, erection, application (£1000), donation to NA (£36 per sq m), insurance, maintenance etc. And even with your generous donations we might find that our pockets are just not deep enough. It would be sad however to visit the NA and see monuments to 10H, 11H, QOH and ‘Lancers’ and yet none to 14/20H – sufficiently sad to surely keep our minds focused.
So, I’ll turn to “What if’s?”
1) If the Colonels decide not to purchase a paving stone – I would suggest that we at Noah’s Arc commission our own.Conclusion:
2) If the Colonels decide to purchase a ‘KRH’ paving stone – same answer.
3) If the Colonels decide not to purchase a freestanding memorial dedicated to 14/20H – we at Noah’s Arc investigate further, using Darryl’s findings.
4) If the Colonels decide on a freestanding memorial dedicated to all five regiments, 10H, 11H, 1420H, RH and KRH – we would like to be involved.
My conclusion is to once again thank you all for your offers, but to urge patience. Let’s see what comes out of Darryl’s investigations and let’s see what comes out of the meeting of Colonels of Regiment. The picture may well be clearer.
In the meantime, if you insist on making donations, I’m more than happy to accept them into the Noah’s Arc account. It’s a simple matter to create a new column and produce periodic reports. It’s up to you.