National Memorial Arboretum awarded Guinness World Record for Armed Forces Christmas Card

30 October 2017

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire has been awarded the Guinness World Record for “Most contributions to a greetings card”, with 16,707 messages, comfortably beating the previous record of 13,288 held by Dubai Police. The first messages were added to the card at the Arboretum’s Ride to the Wall 2016 event, just over a year ago.

The 2.1m high and 4.5m wide card toured the UK last year and was signed at schools, local groups and businesses including Argos, Sainsbury’s, Rolls Royce and Virgin Trains. Members of the public signed the card at the Arboretum during events and were invited to submit contributions online. In December 2016, the gigantic Christmas Card carrying thousands of messages of goodwill and support was presented to Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People, who received the card on behalf of the British Armed Forces.

The card’s inscription read; “We would like to wish all members of the Armed Forces a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
“They routinely risk life and limb in defence of our country, and we will never be able to adequately thank them for the dedication and determination they display as they defend our nation. Our warm wishes extend to their family members, especially those whose loved ones are currently deployed overseas.

“As we gather to celebrate with friends and family we will all remember loved ones who are no longer with us; sharing stories and treasured memories as we enjoy the festivities. We will also make time to think of the families of service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice; they should know that we will never forget them, and we pay tribute to them for their selfless courage.”

This year the Arboretum will be hosting a programme of Christmas events, including a candle lit carol service, food and gift fair, and holly wreath making workshops.

Sarah Montgomery, Managing Director National Memorial Arboretum said; “It is wonderful to share this news just over a year since we began our Guinness World Record attempt. A massive thank you to everyone who supported us in achieving this Guinness World Record. We created this card to demonstrate the deep and enduring affection that the public have for our Armed Forces, who valiantly put themselves at risk daily, to protect the freedoms that we hold dear.

“This exercise allowed us to reach out and engage thousands of people across the country, including thousands of young people at local schools, and encouraged them to consider the unique challenges facing Armed Forces personnel and their families.”

Giant Christmas Card