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EXCLUSIVE: What Sir John Cope thinks about it all today!

Sir John Cope is Alive & Well

The present day Sir John Cope, who is also Lord Cope of Berkeley, is not related to the oft maligned General Sir John Cope of 1745. But he is well aware of the Trust's activities and became a Supporter last year. So as eponymous heir to the defeated General, we asked what he thought about The Prestonpans Tapestry this July 26th, for our Gala - and he responded:

"The Prestonpans Tapestry is a great idea, wonderfully realised to create a splendid work of art. It is both an imaginative way of commemorating the battle and a demonstration of community pride in the face of challenging economic times. It is also fun.

"I was alerted to the Tapestry by a friend who is one of the many volunteers from all over Scotland who have worked on it. They have magically created in just nine months the longest tapestry in the world and a thing of beauty and great historic interest. I wish the project well in its determination to build a Living History Centre in the town."

Sir John has been involved for many years in the conservation of Battlefields working in the 'All Party War Heritage Group' of MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament at Westmninster. It's Chairman, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, recently described the Group as follows:

"Our mission since 2002 has been to support the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the War Memorials Trust, to further educational programmes aimed at increasing knowledge of war heritage and battlefield sites and memorials, to support campaigners seeking to conserve and promote heritage sites and memorials, and to encourage best practice in multi-disciplinary battlefield archaeology."

Sir John adds: "Whilst the group was originally formed to support the (ultimately successful) campaign to persuade the Flanders authorities to divert the line of a new motorway away from the Pilkem Ridge battlefield in the Ypres Salient, it has taken on many other causes and issues relating to battlefields in Britain and abroad (Wars of the Roses, the Civil War, the Peninsular War, Gallipoli, Fromelles - to name just a few). We have been at the forefront in encouraging best practice in battlefield archaeology and excavation.

In the last two parliaments we were the War Graves and Battlefields Heritage all-party group. At my suggestion we have extended our scope and now cover war memorials, and have adopted the shorter title of The War Heritage Group.

I hope that between your Battle Trust and I we can keep the Group informed of progress in Prestonpans. And if you have plans to bring the Tapestry to London or if it would be feasible if you did, but I am sure many people would like to see it."

Published Date: July 26th 2010

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