Maria Miller MP attended the opening of the Basingstoke Peace Garden. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council supported the Peace Garden Advisory Group, made up of local volunteers to create a community garden in the War Memorial Park both marking the centenary of the end of the first world war and creating a space dedicated to peace and reconciliation.
The centenary of the end of the First World War will be marked on Sunday 11 November 2018, and the garden was opened to commemorate International Day of Peace on Friday 21 September.
The Garden features a circular paved space with a water feature and seating for relaxation and contemplation surrounded by newly-planted trees, foliage and flowers.
A sculptured bust to commemorate the work of Sir Harold Gillies, who pioneered facial plastic surgery for wounded servicemen during both world wars, was unveiled in the garden.
Sir Harold was based at Rooksdown House, part of Park Prewett Hospital in Basingstoke, where he operated on injured soldiers and trained other doctors in plastic surgery.
Maria commented; “It was wonderful to attend the opening of the peace Garden which commemorates the centenary of the first world war and acts as a valuable reminder of the importance of peace and reconciliation. It was also so fitting to see a permanent tribute and lasting memorial to Sir Harold Gillies who transformed so many lives.”