Athelian Apprentices Association

Athel Line Grove

at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, - Staffordshire


Where is the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas? Click the link below to view the map, then use the site's zoom buttons change the scale.


Visit the National Memorial Arboretum web-site.




The RAF Association

The Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women, with the Armed Services Memorial behind.

Gallipoli 1915

Within the walls of the Armed Services Memorial. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh month every year the sun shines through the gap to illuminate the central bronze wreath.

Sculptures in the Armed Forces Memorial.

Sculptures are by Ian Rank-Broadley, better known for his representation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II which has appeared on all UK and Commonwealth coinage since 1998.

The Merchant Navy has been included in the Armed Services Memorial, this inscription is for the 1982 Falklands war.

Since the inception of the National Memorial Arboretum, in 1994, members of the Athelian Apprentices Association have given very active support towards the project. The suggestion for the creation of an Athel Line Grove was submitted at a very early stage.


These first two photographs were taken at the inaugural Remembrance† Day Service on 11th November 1996.


The event was filmed by TV Crews for the National News.


Captain Tom Gorst, M.B.E., Founder Member and Former President of the A.A.A., and the web-master were there to represent A.A.A. and the Merchant Navy.


Tom is seen here with two Chelsea Pensioners.





The next set of photographs were taken on the occasion of the A.A.A. Dedication Service for the Athel Line Grove on 16th October 1999





The Merchant Navy Memorial at the arboretum consists of a convoy of 2535 Oak Trees. One tree for every British merchant ship and fishing vessel lost during World War II.


Mere saplings here in 1999

The Athel Line Grove is a tribute to the 205 men of the United Molasses ships, (Athel Line & Tankers Limited) who were lost sea during World War II - 1939 to 1945. The plaque below was unveiled at a special dedication service held on 16th October 1999.


The Athel Line Grove Plaque also honours the four young apprentices who lost their lives, while serving on Athel Line ships during World War II.

Text Box: Robert Reece-Heal, Aged 17, Athelking attacked by armed raider, 9th Sept 1940.

George Furness, Aged 16, Atheltemplar bombed by a Heinkel 111, 1st March 1941.

Peter Abbott, Aged 17, Athelsultan torpedoed by U617 in Convoy SC100, 22nd September 1942.

Leslie Burdge, Aged 17, Athelbeach torpedoed in Convoy OB293, 22nd March 1942

Additionally, throughout the, Merchant Navy Convoy, single trees will be dedicated to individual persons who gave their lives. These plaques of dedication are being sponsored by surviving family and friends.

The following photographs were taken in October 2010 and the trees have grown somewhat, all around the site.

A selection of other memorials within the National Memorial Arboretum.