The Addison Howard Memorial Tree

The Memorial Tree Autumn 2012

The Addison Howard Memorial Tree
At 3.30pm on Sunday 11th December 2011 a small gathering of Kempston residents attended a tree planting ceremony in the grounds of Addison Howard Park. The tree, a walnut, being a species with a long association with Kempston and whose fruit is represented on the Mayoral chain was planted close to the Grange in memory of Addison the son of the late Lady Mary Howard. It was a replacement for one that had been planted in 1937 by Lady Howard when she gifted part of her estate to the people of Kempston for a recreation ground. On her death the rest of her estate was bequeathed to the people of Kempston and forms the park as we know it today. Her son Addison, after whom the park is named, was killed in 1916 at the age of 23 in France in the first world war. Sadly the original tree, believed to be a silver birch, died and its exact location was lost. Recently a group of members of the local history society thought it fitting to replace the tree and continue to mark the memory of Addison Howard and after some research events were progressed which culminated in Sundays ceremony. The Parks Department very kindly donated the tree and also organised the accompanying plaque and plinth. Present at the ceremony were representatives from the Parks Department, Kempston Local History Society, Project 229 and the (now defunct) Bedfordshire Regiment with which Addison served. In a short opening address Brian Lawson included the words spoken by Lady Howard of her son at the time she opened the park and planted the original tree “He, like countless other young men gave his life for the sake of his country, and I am sure he wished this little piece of England which he loved so much should remain unchanged to give pleasure to the people”. Mr Clive Smith, who suggested the idea then planted the tree.
The society would like to thank all those who made this event possible with particular mention of Jackie Horn Chair of the society, Larissa Clarke the Parks Officer who organised the tree and plaque and her colleagues George Brassington the Tree Officer who sourced the tree, Trevor Morris the Head Gardener who prepared the planting area and secured the tree after planting, and Peter Hall who supplied the wood for the plinth. Thanks also to Captain Brian Crisp and Ted (Edwin) Roberts who represented the Bedfordshire Regiment and all those members of the public who braved the cold weather to participate in the ceremony.