About us

The Project's primary aims and objectives can be summarised as follows:

  • the rescue of war memorials at risk of loss or damage from closed or deserted buildings e.g. churches, factories, clubs or schools;
  • the relocation of rescued memorials in a suitable new location in the original community;
  • if relocation is not possible then for the memorials to be moved to a safe site for the purpose of repair, conservation, safe-keeping and display; and
  • ​to encourage individuals, schools, community groups etc. to become involved in the Project’s work and to research, record and learn about the history behind the names on the memorials, the communities they came from and how to conserve memorials in their own communities.

Although we became established as a formal organisation in August 2012, the Project’s work goes back many years before this.

Our co-founders (Denis Kenyon and Chris Stephens) have been actively involved in the preservation of war memorials in the counties of Leicester and Rutland for some time. Both are long-standing regional volunteers for the War Memorials Trust which is an organisation dedicated to the protection and conservation of war memorials throughout the whole of the UK. Denis was also a volunteer for the UK National Inventory of War Memorials which is now part of the Imperial War Museum.

It was Denis and Chris’s involvement with the memorials at St. Saviour’s Church in Leicester which acted as the trigger for them to consider the setting up of an organisation with the capability of taking direct action to either preserve or rescue memorials that were at risk of being lost through theft or vandalism. St. Saviour’s Church in particular possessed three fine examples of stained glass window memorials together with many other items of remembrance.​

Despite their best endeavours, the memorials could not be preserved intact and their fears were realised when the church was subsequently comprehensively vandalised and nearly all the memorials stolen. Fortunately, thanks to Denis and Chris’s foresight, all of the memorials had been permanently recorded on film which allowed the three windows to be faithfully reproduced in the form of light boxes (see right) which now take pride of place among our resident memorials.

Through Chris’s involvement with various churches it soon became clear that St. Saviours Church was not an isolated case and there was much work to be done with similarly affected memorials not only in churches and chapels but also in offices, schools and factories.

Throughout 2010 and 2011, Denis and Chris attended various events to promote the plight of many memorials and the work they intended to do in order to preserve them. This culminated in a presentation made in June 2011 (in conjunction with the Leicestershire War Memorials Project) at a gathering of many senior local authority officials and armed forces representatives.

Following the support voiced at that presentation it was clear that their work needed a formal structure, funding and a place to house the rescued or “orphaned” memorials as they came to be known.​

Throughout 2012, the application process was commenced for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and through Chris’s contacts with the Churches Conservation Trust a location to house the orphaned memorials (some of which had already been recovered) was sourced at the sadly now defunct church at All Saints’ on Highcross in Leicester. In August 2012, the Project was formally incorporated at Companies House as a dedicated and distinct legal organisation.

During the same period, a committed team of volunteers was established to help promote the Project and assist with its operations. A patron (John Florance) was appointed and in April 2013 the Project’s application for funding from the HLF was successful.

Since that time, we have become a more established organisation and have steadily taken on new projects and become involved with some locally high-profile memorials such as those at St. Luke’s Chapel at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

We have set up this web site to allow greater access to our work: we also have many open days throughout the year and attend various local history events to raise awareness of the work we do.

Non sibi sed posteris

There is a Latin inscription on one of the memorial tablets dedicated to those from Alderman Newton’s school who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2. The inscription reads “non sibi sed posteris”. This translates to “not for ourselves but for those who follow”. All of us here on the Project hope you will join us in adopting and embracing this motto for the future generations.

Interview with Denis Kenyon where he explains more about our project.

Our people

Here you can find more about the people who are connected with the Project. The Project is run entirely by volunteers – people who have a passion for heritage. People who are determined that those who gave their lives in their country’s service shall not have their memories desecrated but will be remembered for ever more. The war memorials bearing their names are safe with us.

In addition to those listed below, we are also assisted by several other people who give up their time and provide us with access to a whole host of resources and information in relation to the work that we do. As everyone works on a voluntary basis, those behind the Project are exceptionally grateful for their commitment in ensuring the Project meets its objectives.


Denis Kenyon

Denis has long been interested in military matters.  However, it was only after retiring from business, when he joined the War Memorials Trust (WMT) as a regional volunteer and also became a recorder for the National Inventory of War Memorials, that his interest became focussed on this particular aspect of military history.

He was horrified at the risk posed to memorials in St Saviour’s Church, Leicester in particular. A concern that was very well justified when the building was comprehensively vandalised and nearly all the memorials stolen.  Fortunately, thanks to Denis and Chris’s foresight, all of the memorials had been permanently recorded on film.

With his WMT colleague Chris Stephens, who had for many years been active in keeping an eye on the problem and where possible dealing with it, they were resolved to do something structured about this threat and came up with the idea of a “sanctuary” for memorials at risk.

After many hours of discussion with personnel from Heritage Lottery Fund and Churches Conservation Trust, the Project was formally born, funds were granted, a base was found at All Saint’s Church, Highcross Street, Leicester and a team of willing volunteer experts was gathered together.  The Project was on the road!


Chris Stephens MBE

Chris has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Leicester’s religious, social and industrial past and is the Project’s key point of contact where religious buildings are concerned. Chris oversees the Project’s tenure at All Saint’s Church and he has many local connections.

A former RSPCA inspector, in 2002 Chris was awarded an MBE for services to that organisation.

Image good one - RPJ

Robin P Jenkins, MA, BA (Hons)

Robin is the Project’s third Director. He came aboard at the beginning of 2022, on his retirement after nearly thirty-six years’ service, from the County Record Office. Well known as a writer and speaker on local military history, Robin has appeared on national television, and, in 2018, chaired the county conference on the commemoration of the Great War.
Robin has published a number of books and essays on a variety of topics, from a study of Leicester’s Base Hospital in the Great War to an account of the Crimean War through Leicestershire eyes and the biography of Major General Charles Blackader. He has also published several local photographic histories, including ‘then and now’ views of Leicestershire’s towns and a history of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment.
Robin brings a lifetime’s experience of research, not only his own but also of assisting others with theirs, and many local contacts to the project. He was delighted to be invited to join the team and to find that skills, built up over nearly four decades working in local archives, might after all be both transferable and valuable elsewhere.

Simon helps to look after the website where he uploads new content and ensures that it is kept regularly updated. He joined the team after meeting with Denis and Chris and was so impressed by the Project, he decided to volunteer there and then. Since joining the team, he has helped to move the Project’s website from a basic one to the one we see today. As well as website matters, he also likes to help the Project in other ways, and occasionally helps at Open Days and with some odd heavy lifting! He is a lover of history, particularly 20th century history and believes that we should never forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.


Joe has an MA in history and previously worked in Leicestershire’s local history scene promoting public heritage, which is where he came across the ARWMP. He currently works on the members’ magazine of a national military charity, telling the stories of those who have served.


Tom Bowers is an archaeologist by profession and has a keen interest in conflict archaeology, in particular WW2 POW camps in the UK. He helps produce content for Twitter and enjoys outreach with members of the public. Explaining the importance of war memorials and their preservation.  He is also a volunteer for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  His aim is to ensure that those who gave everything are not forgotten.

David and Valerie

David Humberston and Valerie Jacques

David and Valerie are avid and experienced researchers with a shared particular interest in World War One. Being fluent and extremely capable writers, David and Valerie assist the Project with its marketing material, content and design for leaflets and pamphlets etc. and are always on hand to share their invaluable knowledge and expertise. David and Valerie are the Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Leicestershire and Rutland Branch of the Western Front Association and run a successful annual Armistice Tour to Ypres each November.


Although not born in Leicester Nicola has lived here for most of her life.  She is happily retired with a keen interest in Local History.  Her ambition is to visit every Cemetery, Church, Graveyard and War Memorial in Leicestershire & Rutland.  With a large spreadsheet and thousands of photos to record her progress.    She really enjoys researching family histories and looking at old newspaper articles relating to the people she has discovered along the way.  She has a large library of local interest books as well as a collection of old postcards of Leicestershire.

She is also relishes the challenge of learning something new in computing.

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