Stunning new photos show autumnal red maple trees dotted along the A3 near Liphook – commemorating 418 Canadian soldiers who gave their lives during war.
Many motorists are unaware they are passing through a treasured war memorial as the busy dual carriageway enters East Hampshire.
The maples, Canada’s national tree, were placed near Liphook to mark the lives of 418 Canadian servicemen who trained locally on Bramshott Commonand died in both world wars.
There was a Canadian training base in the area as well as a large hospital caring for sick and wounded soldiers.
Each tree is twinned with a soldier’s grave – those who passed in the First World War are buried in Bramshott Churchyard and St Joseph’s Catholic Church, in Grayshott.
The soldiers who died in the Second World War were laid to rest at Brookwood Military Cemetery near Woking, Surrey.
Mark Chambers, 29, took the photos at sunrise and sunset on Sunday, October 22.
The marketing manager from Hampshire said: “I have been visiting and photographing the area, which is very near to where I live, for the last three or four years now and I have gradually learnt more about the significance of the trees.
“The maple trees were imported from their native Canada and replaced a line of sycamore trees that were previously planted there.”
The original memorial on the A3 was installed after the Second World War and consisted of sycamore trees, but these were later deemed a hazard to road users and were replaced with the maples, which were especially brought over from Canada, “as a continued memorial to those who gave their lives in defence of freedom” as the plaque reads.
The most recent of the trees on Bramshott Common was planted on Canada Sunday in 1995.
A pedestrian underpass opened in 2008, allowing people to cross the motorway to pay their respects and marvel at the trees.
Mark, who bought his own camera in early 2021 during lockdown as a “creative outlet during those isolated times”, also wrote about the commemoration in his blog: https://www.markrosschambers.com/blog/bramshott-canadian-memorial