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ROYSTON
War memorials vary in size, quality and style. The style aims to express the memorial's meaning - the message the memorial funders and promoters wish to convey. Long before the war's end some began to worry about the likelihood of ‘unsuitable’ memorials being built after the war and devised rules about what was and was not (artistically) acceptable. Not many warmed to these suggestions. Nevertheless most memorials followed a set of basic patterns as, by the time most were being built, the State, newspapers and the churches had established a common (though not wholly uncontested) script - set of meanings - which most people followed.

Most memorials focused on the sacrifice of soldiers, their heroic deed and the 'peace' their sacrifice gave us – for your tomorrow we gave our today.

A few chose to illustrate England's long military tradition as a source of pride rather than regret - brutal colonial wars notwithstanding.

We have some insight into the debate that preceded the building of the Royston memorial but none of the worries that were expressed concerned the pride the memorial takes in martial values. Just a few years after a cataclysmic war, no one seemed to notice or object that the very values their new memorial was ‘promoting’ were those which gave birth to tens of thousands of war memorials throughout Europe.