Our People

The people most closely connected with the Project are:

John Florance - Patron

When setting up the Project we could think of very few people to represent us with a more distinguished and respected association with all things connected with the Leicestershire and Rutland area than John Florance. We were therefore delighted when John accepted our invitation to become our Patron and one of his initial duties was to cut the ribbon on the occasion of the formal opening of our memorials exhibition (and Project as a whole) on 7 November 2013.

John will be known to many as the voice of BBC Radio Leicester as he has presented many of their programmes over the years and has a special connection with the mid-morning programme.  As well as his radio work, John also frequently contributed a regular column in the Leicester Mercury newspaper.

In addition to our own project, John also carries out duties for a number of local charities; he is a warden at Leicester Cathedral and avidly supports the many literary and dramatical societies in which he has a keen interest.

In 2012, in recognition of his services to the people of Leicester, John was made a Doctor of Laws at the University of Leicester.

Denis Kenyon - co-founder

Denis, with Chris Stephens (see below), is the Project’s co-founder and is also one of the two Directors and Members of the 'umbrella' limited company.

Denis has long been interested in military matters.  However, it was only after retiring from business, when he joined the War Memorials Trust (WMT) as a regional volunteer and also became a recorder for the National Inventory of War Memorials, that his interest became focussed on this particular aspect of military history. 

He was horrified at the risk posed to memorials in St Saviour’s Church, Leicester in particular. A concern that was very well justified when the building was comprehensively vandalised and nearly all the memorials stolen.  Fortunately, thanks to Denis and Chris's foresight, all of the memorials had been permanently recorded on film.

With his WMT colleague Chris Stephens, who had for many years been active in keeping an eye on the problem and where possible dealing with it, they were resolved to do something structured about this threat and came up with the idea of a “sanctuary” for memorials at risk.

After many hours of discussion with personnel from Heritage Lottery Fund and Churches Conservation Trust, the Project was formally born, funds were granted, a base was found at All Saint’s Church, Highcross Street, Leicester and a team of willing volunteer experts was gathered together.  The Project was on the road!

Chris Stephens MBE - co-founder 

Chris, with Denis Kenyon (see above), is the Project’s co-founder and is also one of the two Directors and Members of the 'umbrella' limited company. Chris has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Leicester’s religious, social and industrial past and is the Project’s key point of contact where religious buildings are concerned. Chris oversees the Project’s tenure at All Saint’s Church and he has many local connections.

A former RSPCA inspector, in 2002 Chris was awarded an MBE for services to that organisation.

Paul Warry

Paul’s background is in business and finance and his role within the Project is very similar to that of a Company Secretary. Paul makes sure that all our statutory and financial reporting and other obligations are fulfilled and works closely with Denis Kenyon on a variety of matters. Paul is also responsible for maintaining the Project's website and emails.  Paul is the Treasurer for the Leicestershire and Rutland Branch of the Western Front Association and also has close ties with the Airfield Research Group visiting many ex-RAF/RFC bases each year.

David Humberston and Valerie Jacques

David and Valerie are avid and experienced researchers with a shared particular interest in World War One. Being fluent and extremely capable writers, David and Valerie assist the Project with its marketing material, content and design for leaflets and pamphlets etc. and are always on hand to share their invaluable knowledge and expertise. David and Valerie are the Secretary and Newsletter Editor for the Leicestershire and Rutland Branch of the Western Front Association and run a successful annual Armistice Tour to Ypres each November.

In addition to those listed above, we are also assisted by several other people who give up their time and provide us with access to a whole host of resources and information in relation to the work that we do.  As everyone works on a voluntary basis, those behind the Project are exceptionally grateful for their commitment in ensuring the Project meets its objectives.

Leicester City, County & Rutland "At Risk" War Memorials Project is a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England under company registration number 08176202. The address of the company's registered office is The Chancel, rear of All Saints' Church, Highcross, Leicester LE1 4PH. Patron: John Florance. Registered as a charity for tax purposes with HMRC.  © Leicester City, County & Rutland "At Risk" War Memorials Project 2017.
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