Below is the text of the statement made by Tobias Ellwood, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, in the House of Commons on 8 February 2018.
I am pleased to inform Parliament that the National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism has now been completed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and is open to the public to visit.
The process to select the artist and design for the memorial began with a public online consultation in 2016. This consultation identified strong public support and set out what was important to those with an interest in the memorial. I am grateful to Baroness Chalker of Wallasey and the other members of the independent panel which took forward the selection of the artists and design for the memorial. They based their decisions on the results of the consultation in 2016.
The overarching themes of the consultation were that the memorial should be a place of remembrance, where people could pay their respects to those who had lost their lives. It was also clear that the memorial should be a place of contemplation and reflection, with many respondents suggesting that the memorial should be a place of tranquillity and quiet reflection, and a place for families to visit and sit. I am pleased with the way that the artist, Alison Wilding, and maker and sculptor, Adam Kershaw have responded to these themes through their work, “Still Water.”
I am grateful also to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whose officials have delivered this project on my behalf. Those Departments that have a direct responsibility for supporting the families of victims of overseas terrorism will now work together to ensure that the families of future victims of terrorism overseas are connected with the memorial sensitively, and by the most appropriate part of Government at the time. The new, cross-Government Victims of Terrorism Unit is well-placed to consider this work.
On 17 May 2018, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, I will host a dedication ceremony at the site of the memorial for families that have successfully applied online to attend. Further information, including how to apply to attend the event, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-memorial-dedication-ceremony.