In 2014, one hundred years since the outbreak of WWI, it seemed fitting that a memorial be created to the men of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation, the oldest in this city, who made the Ultimate Sacrifice in the two World Wars.
The Synagogue’s Broadgreen cemetery on Thomas Drive was the obvious choice, as here there are eight war graves maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and a number of family graves that show a plaque or an inscription on the headstone to a son, killed and buried in foreign fields.
With some research and the benefit of an excellent publication by congregant Saul Marks, our resident and professional genealogist, we began to plan this tribute that had been in our thoughts for several years.
We wanted the memorial to be artistic, but more importantly to be a place of remembrance and emotion.
The site chosen is rectangular in shape within the cemetery’s entrance area.
The main features are the free standing granite memorial with rough hewn edges, depicting lives cut short, and an inscribed plaque showing only names, not rank, of the fallen. A silver birch tree and rose shrubs complete the garden.
We had considered planting wild poppies but at about this time we were starting to see the ceramic poppies in the Tower of London moat. Two of our members, Naomi Hoyland and her daughter Sarah Ellenbogen, both ceramicists, volunteered to make a number of similar poppies and it is these that are now displayed within the garden.
We are very grateful to have had a sizeable donation from the Ladies Guild of the Congregation to enable us to undertake the project, along with monies donated by other congregation members whose names will be inscribed in a Memorial Book. Should any member of the public also wish to donate to our ‘Poppy Fund’ we would be eternally grateful. Their names will also be entered into the Memorial Book.