Prince William visited Coventry’s War Memorial Park on Wednesday and although the reason for his visit was a very sombre one, it appears that the Duke was also put through his paces on the tennis court too.
William was in Coventry in his role of President of the Fields in Trust to announce that the War Memorial Park will be the first green space in the UK to be dedicated as part of the charity’s Centenary Fields programme, in order to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
On his first engagement in the role of President, the dad of one called not just on Coventry City Council but councils across the country to secure these green spaces for now and the future in order to remember the sacrifices of those who did not return from war. William placed a wreath at the parks centre memorial and noted how the memorial parks are a “vital part of our national heritage”.
Centenary Fields is a project from charity Fields in Trust which aims to secure recreational spaces in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions who lost their lives during the First World War. Landowners across the UK will be urged to dedicate at least one green space as a Centenary Field. The spaces being urged to be dedicated include memorial parks, playing fields and other significant green areas.
The Duke of Cambridge also unveiled a plaque which formerly acknowledged the parks status as a centenary field.
It wasn’t, however, just a plaque unveiling that was on the agenda for the Prince as he took part in a game of tennis with some local schoolchildren. Although William was getting in to his stride, unfortunately timing schedules meant he couldn’t compete in a full length game. The Duke also helped children plant some poppies before he waved the flag on a school sports day taking part in another area of the park.
At the culmination of his visit to the Memorial Park, Prince William gave a short speech in which he commented:
“As President of Fields in Trust, I had the privilege of being in Coventry’s War Memorial Park to launch their Centenary Fields Programme, the charity’s initiative to safeguard war memorial parks up and down the country from ever being lost to residential or commercial development in the future. The unprecedented horrors of the Great War touched neighbourhoods in this country in a way that we can barely imagine these days, even for those of us who have served in the Armed Forces.”
Before leaving the park Prince William signed the visitor centre’s guest book and even found time for a short chat with some onlookers. On Thursday in another war themed engagement, William visited London’s Imperial War Museum.
Photo Credit: Victoria Murphy @QueenVicMirror