Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby timothylrose » 04 Feb 2014 14:24

Louise - it does seem that we have a problem getting PM's through to you - I sent one last week about the donation we want to make but have heard nothing back - apologies for posting up in the public domain but have you received it? Atb - Tim
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Swordswoman » 05 Feb 2014 02:14

Hi, Tim and everyone,

The PMs are fine - it's my e-mail that's up the swannee, I'm afraid, so I never had the notification. I'll reply properly in the morning (it's 1.00am now) but meanwhile thank you for your incredibly generous offer of a donation, and for all your support. The Diehards, as they say, rock.

In other news, we've been working behind the scenes and it's now possible to donate small amounts to the Appeal via text. If you text CWRS14 £10 to 70070 then justgiving.com gives us the tenner! I'd be very grateful for any help tweeting this or any way getting the word out.

We also now have our first academic support. The wonderful Rachel Anchor at the University of Leicester has posted about us on the Victorian Studies blog here https://victorianstudiescentre.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/a-sore-sight-britains-crumbling-crimean-memorials-and-the-campaign-to-restore-them/, and we even have a mention from eminent and multi-published historian Dr Denise Bates on her own blog here: http://www.denisebates.co.uk/blog.html.

I'm sorry I'll personally have to stay quiet for the next six weeks, but things are still happening behind the scenes and we'll be back with a bang in April! Meanwhile, continued thanks to everyone here for their terrific and continuing support.

Louise
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Mark » 05 Feb 2014 18:45

Swordswoman wrote:In other news, we've been working behind the scenes and it's now possible to donate small amounts to the Appeal via text. If you text CWRS14 £10 to 70070 then justgiving.com gives us the tenner! I'd be very grateful for any help tweeting this or any way getting the word out.


Great news, Louise! I will get some tweeting done tonight!

Mark
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Mark » 13 Feb 2014 00:08

Just a quick bump for this topic. If you have already made a donation please also spread the word to friends and colleagues who you think would be prepared to support this worthy appeal.

Mark
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby timothylrose » 13 Feb 2014 14:45

Mark / Louise - sorry to have to keep posting here but ..... I did send Louise a pm last week and again no reply - it's quite problematic when you are trying to support something but there seems little interaction with the cyber world. Louise if you do pick this up please e mail me direct so we can sort this out - atb Tim
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Swordswoman » 13 Feb 2014 20:37

Hullo, Tim, Mark and all!

Sorry - I seem to have to keep apologizing all the time now. I haven't had an e-mail from you, Tim, but I do have a PM and have just replied. I've also resent you both my personal e-mail addresses (which do seem to work at present!) and if you stick a red priority on them for anything urgent then I'll shove the work aside to get to them.

Meanwhile, as I said upthread, I'm supposed to be taking a back seat on this until the end of March while I deal with health issues and a writing deadline - but in fact things are starting to move rather well. I'm delighted to announce that the Regimental Association of the 93rd Sutherland and Argyll Highlanders is now on board (hurray for the Thin Red Line!!) and I'm currently preparing a report for Major Bob Elliot to present to the trustees. I've also written up material for two of the three Guards Regiments and am very hopeful we'll get some good news soon.

And we've hardly started! I'm still writing the letters and have most of the Line still to do, but the response so far is very encouraging, and I have little doubt now that we'll have something ready for the 160th anniversary this autumn.

We also have some new flyers, so if anyone here would like a few to distribute then please do PM me and I'll whack some along. I've had problems with my PM notifications, but this turns out to be a new spam filter issue now resolved, so hopefully you will at least get a reply.

If anyone else here has tried to write to me without response, then please do forward it again, or post in this thread to let me know. I know I'm not meant to be working on this until April, but you've been so incredibly supportive that the last thing I want is for anyone feel ignored.

All best to all,

Louise
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Mark » 14 Feb 2014 14:40

Great news, Louise! Good to hear things are moving well again with the appeal. Fingers crossed you will reach the target before too long.

If anyone has a spare few quid please do donate - as with any fundraising project every penny counts!

Mark
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Josh&Historyland » 28 Feb 2014 17:21

Trouble in Ukrain has spread to the old battle ground of Sevastapol. This morning a BBC reporter was in Balaclava talking about the possibility of Russian involvement. Previous to this the Ukranian protestors have been demolishing and attacking Russian memorials and monuments. What does these escalating problems mean for the efforts of the British Memorial?

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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Swordswoman » 01 Mar 2014 09:51

Hello, Josh,

No-one can really predict what's going to happen in Crimea now, though I can't see Russia ever giving up Sevastopol. It's a tense time, and I'm personally very worried about my friends out there.

With regard to the Memorial, however, it is business as usual. Looking at the various eventualities:

If Ukraine retains Crimea and former President Yanukovych returns (very unlikely!!!) then nothing changes. We have their permissions, and everything goes ahead as planned.

If Ukraine retains Crimea under a new Maidan-led government, then if anything our position improves. It was under Tymoshenko in 2004 that we were gifted the Dergachi obelisk, and it is most unlikely that a new government looking to the West and the EU for support would do anything to jeopardize that.
The monuments attacked by Ukrainians have all been Soviet-era Russian (eg statues of Lenin) and there is no danger whatsoever to a British memorial commemorating a 19th century war.

If Ukraine doesn't retain Crimea and we see some kind of Russian annexation, then there may be delays, but again our position may even improve. Part of our problem in the past has been that Ukraine as a country has little interest in its past military history, which they see as predominantly Russian. Russia has far, far greater emotional investment in the Crimean War, and regards such military monuments as effectively sacred. It is worth noting that Cathcart's Hill was safe under direct Soviet control, and it is only when Crimea passed to Ukraine in 1954 that the bulldozers came out.
The biggest problem for us in this event is that Crimea would no longer be the responsibility of the British Embassy at Kyiv - and this would cause delay. We would need somebody on the ground a) to ensure our permissions were still valid,and b) to watch over the building process to ensure everything was properly done. There would be someone eventually (the Moscow desk has been involved in the past) but it would lose us time.

If there's a Civil War - again, the problem is delay. We should be all right however such a war concluded, but nothing could be done while it was going on.

With all this in mind, we are simply going ahead with raising the money, confident in the knowledge that one way or another the memorial will be built. However, we are taking no risks. No funds will be disbursed for either Dergachi or Cathcart's Hill until we know for certain that we have all the money and permissions we need to complete the work. Since we're taking no expenses out of the fund, the money will stay intact - and in the event of something completely unforeseen aborting the plan (eg someone drops a bomb on the site!!) then we can simply return the cash direct to the donors. PayPal allows refunds at the click of a button.
This is most, most, most unlikely to happen, but it does mean donors can be sure their money will not be wasted.

Fortunately public confidence does not seem to have been affected. I was going to post here today in any event to say that in the last two days we have received two more substantial donations - £1,000 from the Grenadier Guards, and £1,000 from the Scots Guards. We're now almost to £15,000 and need just over £10,000 to be able to go ahead with Dergachi - with well over 30 regiments still to be contacted!

It's really going to happen now. I only hope that the political situation doesn't delay us too much - and that the situation can be resolved without more bloodshed. Sevastopol has already suffered appalling loss of life over two terrible wars, and we must hope and pray that there will never be a third.

Many thanks to everyone for their continuing support,

Louise
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Josh&Historyland » 01 Mar 2014 14:23

Louise, thanks for your reply, it's good to hear that for the appeal at least things are still looking positive, all that is left is to wait and see what happens.

Josh.
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Mark » 02 Mar 2014 19:54

Thanks for the update, Louise! It appears that time is the main consequence of the current crisis for this project and that it will most certainly still go ahead at some point in the future. As such members should continue to support the appeal and help spread the word.

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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Swordswoman » 12 Mar 2014 22:27

Just a quick update to say we're still ticking along - and the Coldstream Guards have now pledged a further £1,000!

Meanwhile we're also still working on the government angle. This is from the Official Report of the House of Lords (ie their equivalent of Hansard) for the 10th of March:

Lord Boateng (Lab): The last time that this House gave detailed consideration to events in the Crimea, some 23,000 British and imperial soldiers died. There is still no fitting memorial to those soldiers in the Crimea. Will Her Majesty’s Government, when the heat and dust of this matter has died down, give serious consideration to the funding of the Crimea War Memorial Appeal?
10 Mar 2014 : Column 1588
Lord Hill of Oareford: I have sympathy with that proposition and the contribution that British soldiers have made in all kinds of spheres through our imperial and colonial history. However, at the moment, the Government’s focus is on trying to resolve this crisis and on making sure that we do not need another memorial to many more people who have been slaughtered. I am sure that others will have heard the noble Lord’s remarks.


That's a 'no', of course, but it does leave the door open, and shows that there may yet be some good to come out of the current horrible mess. But like Lord Hill, I hope we won't see more bloodshed before it comes to it...

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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Josh&Historyland » 12 Mar 2014 22:40

As do we all I'm sure, sadly the motion was Ill timed, and the response I think was predictable, nevertheless it is a start, the subject has got to the House and that is something.

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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Swordswoman » 13 Mar 2014 00:59

Absolutely. I wish it had been asked at a better time, but I'd guess he was seizing a very rare opportunity of Crimea actually being on the agenda at all.
I think it may be there for some time yet...
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Re: Please support a British Memorial in the Crimea

Postby Mark » 13 Mar 2014 15:59

The fact they have discussed it in the Lords is quite a step forward!

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