Buckingham to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at town's new Holocaust memorial

'Even in the UK, prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all,' says former councillor

By Hannah Richardson
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 5:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 5:16 pm

Buckingham Town Council has unveiled a new memorial stone to the atrocities of the Holocaust, in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The town council will be holding an inaugural ceremony to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday, January 27, around the memorial stone in Bourton Park, and the service is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

Buckingham resident and former long-serving town councillor Ruth Newell proposed the project to install a memorial stone for Buckingham while she was still on in office.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Buckingham's Holocaust memorial

Since stepping down from the town council, Ruth has been made a Freewoman of Buckingham.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust and in other genocides around the world.

It is held on January 27 every year, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Buckingham Town Council’s Environment Committee agreed to install a memorial stone as a focal point for people come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and other genocides, in the hope that there may one day be a future with no genocide.

Ruth Newell receives her Freewoman of Buckingham certificate

The memorial stone has been created from a piece of limestone bedrock from Brackley Road Cemetery, which was transported free of charge by local firm Paragon Tool Hire as a gesture to the community.

The Holocaust Memorial Day emblem and wording were engraved by local stonemason and a master letter carver Louis Francis, who runs a successful business from his studio at Westbury.

Ruth Newell said: "I first got to know about Holocaust Memorial Day when I worked for Milton Keynes Council and I have attended a few of their Holocaust Memorial events in Campbell Park.

"I do think it is really important that we never forget the Holocaust, and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide.

"They promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day, to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups, and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

"The Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and genocide must still be resisted every day.

"Our world often feels fragile and vulnerable and we cannot be complacent.

"Even in the UK, prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all.

"I am very grateful that the town council has the memorial in a perfect peaceful place in Bourton Park and that a remembrance event is taking place here in Buckingham for the first time."

The ceremony around the Holocaust Memorial Stone will be led by the Mayor of Buckingham, Margaret Gateley, starting at 11am.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

The memorial stone is situated at the eastern end of Bourton Park - see here.