front door of the at risk war memorials project 24112022 JW
The At-Risk War Memorials project has been housed at its current location in Leicester city centre since 2011.
History

At-Risk War Memorials project under threat of closure

front door of the at risk war memorials project 24112022 JW
The At-Risk War Memorials project has been housed at its current location in Leicester city centre since 2011.

A charitable project that rescues war memorials from destruction is facing an uncertain future. 

At-Risk War Memorials in Leicester, which sees volunteers salvaging stonework bearing the names of those lost in the First and Second World wars, has been saving monuments for the past 11 years. 

But now, volunteers say they require premises after their landlord, the Churches Conservation Trust, advised it was time to move on.

The At-Risk project can be called on at short notice to rescue monuments facing destruction or vandalism.

Denis Kenyon of the At Risk war memorials project 24112022 JW
Former reservist Denis Kenyon heads up the project.

Led by Denis Kenyon, a former Army reservist, volunteers race to locations to salvage memorials, then care for the objects in a building provided by the Churches Conservation Trust.

Speaking to Forces News, Mr Kenyon said memorials like those rescued by his team are "works of art".

He added: "It's the names. The reason these memorials exist in the first place are because of the names.

"In addition to rescuing the war memorials, we do, where we can, produce many biographies of as many of the men as possible and we make those available online."

premisis at risk war memorials 24112022 jw
The At-Risk War Memorials project is currently housed in the grounds of All Saints Church in Leicester.

War memorials rescued by At-Risk's volunteers are typically found in churches, remembrance gardens, and buildings such as working men's clubs and hospitals. 

They can also be the target of criminals who steal precious metals often found on or around the monuments to sell.

"These are men that gave themselves for this country. They were sacrificed, and they must be remembered," Mr Kenyon said. 

memorials held by at risk memorials project 24112022 JW
Once salvaged, the project stores war memorials and makes any information it discovers about the names on the monuments available to the public.

The Churches Conservation Trust said they "Fully recognised the importance of war memorials and the work of the At-Risk project." 

The trust added: "Although we feel they do need a bigger and more appropriate home, we have no plans to evict the At-Risk War Memorials Project.  

"We will continue supporting the volunteers while they look for a new home for the long-term benefit of their important work."