The history of the charity village

Constructed between 1949-1955 and completed in 1955 the War Memorial Village Derby was the result of a local fundraising drive led by the Rotary Club who proposed that rather than erecting a new Memorial to the Second World War a more fitting tribute would be providing affordable accommodation for military veterans who had been disabled in the conflict.

The village was built on 20 acres of land donated by the Town Council with accommodation ranging from bungalows to 2 storey family homes and flats.

On Monday 27 June 1949 the foundation stone was laid by HRH The Princess Elizabeth accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. An excerpt of the Princess's speech is as follows:

"A memorial should indeed remind all who look upon it of the valour and self-sacrifice it commemorates but just as the men who died performed the greatest service for their fellow countrymen so the memorial we raise to them should serve those that follow after. Therefore, I think that the people of Derby have shown both wisdom and imagination in deciding to build this village."

HRH The Princess Elizabeth

Several of the homes bear plaques commemorating donations from individuals and companies. Several of the original tenants took up occupation as soon as the homes were built. One of the first tenants was a survivor of a Mosquito crash, Mr Williams.

One of the traditions kept alive to current times is that the Mayor of Derby is invited annually to become the President of the Trustees of the village, a position that has been taken up continuously since 1949.

The charity's aims today

The aims of the military veterans' charity today are to own, operate and maintain the high-grade housing in the City of Derby specifically for the benefit of disabled former members of HM Forces, the Emergency Services and others whom the Trustees feel meet the criteria to live in the village. In addition, the charity wants to provide more general non-residential relief of need for beneficiaries and to engage in other charitable activity that generates funds for the purposes of maintaining and redeveloping the village and the needs of its residents.

With Her Royal Highness's speech in mind the Trustees have a vision to bring the village into the 21st century, keeping the ethos of ensuring the high-grade accommodation that is fit for purpose is available for those in need.