In early 2011, a Carp resident and local entrepreneur and a veteran of the British Royal Air Force, Stuart Hodge, began asking his neighbours about the existence or otherwise of any type of permanent monument honouring those from Carp and its environs, who had died overseas in World War I and II. Although a list of these men and women does exist on a plaque in the Carp Memorial Hall, and in a small number of publications and official war records, no specific permanent memorial could be found. To this end, Stuart set out to change this and the germ of an idea for a cenotaph to be located in Carp was formed.
During a Carp BIA meeting, a motion was proposed to form a committee in early 2011, with the target date of November, 2012, to accomplish this vision of a permanent and respectful cenotaph. The complete process has taken longer to accomplish than first anticipated.
As the project progressed, the composition of this informal committee has been added to, in order to bring in differing levels of expertise, until it was found necessary to constitute it more formally. This was to ensure accountability and transparency and to give the committee a “voice”to the community it intended to serve, and in particular to municipal and federal government agencies – both of which have become essential to the project’s success. Along the way, it became necessary to follow the correct and formal ways of dealing with site approvals, with the myriad unforeseen issues which arose, and with the submissions for official support funding, as well as fundraising within the community.