ELMS NMA Escape Line Memorial 19th May 2012

Posted on April 2, 2012 by


1. The ELMS NMA Escape Line Memorial is dedicated to the Escapers, Evaders and their Helpers who, despite the many difficulties, assisted the Allied servicemen men on their way to freedom. Many escapers and evaders died in the attempt to escape or on route, crossing some of the most inhospitable areas in the world. The Escapers and Evaders, if re-captured, were sent to POW camps. InWestern Europe, helpers who were caught with evaders were brutally interrogated by the Gestapo before being shot or interned in a concentration camp, together with their families, many died in the camps. In theFar East many escapers, if re-captured were simply shot.

The rock from which the Escape Line Memorial is formed came from a quarry at the start of the high level escape route over the Central Pyrenees. The owner of the quarry was a Passeur who took escapers and evaders along the difficult escape route intoSpain.

The memorial will be placed in the Allied Special Forces Grove which is part of the National Memorial Arboretum and contains memorials dedicated to Special Forces units and Resistance Groups.


2. The NMA is situated near Alrewas in Staffordshire. The address is Croxhall Road, Alrewas,  Staffordshire, DE13 7AR. Telephone 01283 792333. Web: www.thenma.org.uk

It is a unique haven of peace, situated within the National Forest and consists of over 150 acres of trees and memorials.

The site is dominated by the Armed Forces Memorial dedicated in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen on12 October 2007. All members of the Armed Forces who have died serving with the United Kingdom Armed Forces since the Second World War are remembered on this memorial.

The NMA is extensive with many memorials to see. It is also very open, and exposed to the weather. Please ensure that you are dressed for changeable and cold weather conditions and that you also have strong footwear and waterproof clothing.

There is also a shop, a chapel, a restaurant, and many artifacts and displays around the main Visitors Centre area. The Changi Lych Gate, built in 1942 by soldiers from the 18th  Divison who became prisoners of the Japanese, has been brought over from Changi Jail inSingapore. The ‘Burma Railway’ has also been reconstructed on site together with many other presentations and exhibitions.


Thank you for your support.

Rog Stanton

Secretary ELMS





19 May 2012


1030hrs         Members arrive at National Memorial Arboretum

Visit Arboretum

1145hrs         Members assemble at ELMS Memorial, Allied Special Forces Grove

1200hrs         Opening Address

Act of Remembrance

‘The Life That I Have’ Security poem code of Violette Szabo GC CdeG SOE

The Eulogy


                      The Last Post

The Silence


                      The Kohima Epitaph




                      The Hymn of the Resistance


                      The laying of wreaths


1230hrs         Closing Address

1235hrs         ELMS Photographs

1300hrs         ELMS Buffet