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Since 11 November 1919, one year after Armistice Day (11 November 1918) which saw the end of hostilities of World War I, the UK, Commonwealth Nations and its Allies have commemorated Remembrance Day in memory to the fallen of the conflict.
Since that time various commemorative monuments have been erected around the world. As part of the ongoing desire to remember the fallen in conflicts then and since, in 1997 planting began for the UK’s National Memorial Arboretum and has become a special place honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, the nation in many different ways.

With some 30,000 trees and the more than 300 dedicated memorials the Arboretum has become a living tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of the UK.

Over the course of the past year the Armed Forces Memorial on the National Arboretum site in Alrewas, Staffordshire, UK has been undergoing some significant enhancement works including essential maintenance, repairs and improvements. The works have been financed from a grant of some £3 million of LIBOR fines and support from The Royal British Legion which will enable improvement to the monument and address issues with drainage and damp, ensuring it continues to provide appropriate recognition and thanks for those who have given their lives in the service of the country.

Whilst much of the year-long project involved works on the parts of the site visible to visitors (over 2 million since it was dedicated in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen in October 2007), a significant aspect of the works involved rehabilitation of the local drainage system which is not seen but which is a vital part of keeping the site active and accessible. Due to the location of the storm/rainwater down pipes within the memorial wall structure, which were found to be in poor condition and leaking into the stone work, it was decided that a lining option was the only practical solution to the problems.

UK Drainage Ltd (UKD) was appointed to undertake the rainwater drainage rehabilitation works which comprised the installation some 70 m of liner and ten liner patches. The liners were installed as 10 lengths each 7 m long from the rainwater collection points on the top of the Armed Forces Memorial through the down pipes to about 1 m beyond the rest bend at the base of the pipe. What made this part of the works challenging was that nominal 100 mm diameter liners had to accommodate changing internal diameters in the host pipe.

The ten 100 mm to 150 mm diameter patch liners were used to seal the top of the down pipes and allow for the installation of a triflex gutter liner to be installed along the entire length of the memorial walls.

In order to complete the works effectively, both in technical and cost terms, UKD utilised a Re-tec Liner Jet along with Re-tec Transition Liner (to accommodate the diameter changes in the downpipes) and Re-Tec patch liners using Gadmon and ER Systems resins, all of which was supplied by Superjet’s Birmingham branch.

The Re-Tec Liner jet system was selected because it offered the contractor the ability to work in the difficult location given its small, compact and lightweight design.

The liner installation were undertaken over two construction periods totalling some 12 days with the first period commencing in mid-November 2015. The two works periods covered two works areas known as Zone C2 (South) and Zone C1 (North).
Initial site set up for the lining works took just 7 days. The first section to be completed was Zone C2 (South) which took 6 days starting on 16 November 2015. The second section, Zone C1 (North) took 6 days starting on 25 January 2016. The project from the down pipes lining aspect was completed on 4 March 2016.
Despite the access difficulties, working around other operations on the site with other contactors completing their portion of the project and the challenges of the downpipes themselves, the works were completed successfully and to the complete satisfaction of the Memorial management team, on time and in budget.
Commenting on the lining works for the Memorial site team Matt Austin excavation and lining manager said: “Each line has had a varying difficultly due to the pipe work size variations however using the dimension change liner and the liner jet enabled us to achieve a very good standard of finish.”
For UK Drainage Dave Prior, MD stated: “We were proud and privileged to be asked to work on such a prestigious and important national project, I am pleased to say all went well and to our client’s full satisfaction.”
All works were completed and the Monument was reopened to the public by Armistice Day 2016. During the project, the Arboretum has created a new area featuring information about the Armed Forces Memorial and photography of every name on its walls.
It has also created a new focal point for the laying of wreaths and other tributes. The dedication of new names on the memorial, took place in early November 2016, once the works were fully complete and in time for the 2016 Remembrance Day services.