Centrepiece of commemorations announced for 100th anniversary of Armistice Day in 2018
A major piece of art, depicting the more than 72,000 Service personnel killed in Britain’s bloodiest battle, will form a focal point as the nation commemorates 100 years since the end of the First World War on 11 November 2018. The ‘Shrouds of the Somme’ project will bring home the sheer scale of human sacrifice in the battle that came to epitomise the bloodshed of the 1914–18 war – the Battle of the Somme.
Somerset artist Rob Heard has had the painstaking task of making more than 72,000 hand-stitched shrouds, each wrapped around a 12-inch figure, one for each of the Servicemen killed in the Somme but with no known grave.
This unique and thought-provoking project will also give members of the public the opportunity to take part as a plea goes out for relatives of the dead to participate. Shrouds of the Somme is ‘Asking the Nation’ to search their family archives for pictures and details of those who died during the Battle of the Somme and are commemorated on the largest Commonwealth war memorial in the world: the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in France.
Members of the public will be able to upload their own photographs and stories of these men to the digital archive via the Shrouds of the Somme website at https://shroudsofthesomme.com/ Speaking as the Shrouds of the Somme was officially launched, project chairman, Cdre Jake Moores OBE DL, appealed for members of the public to get involved: ‘Remembering those thousands who fell as individual men is crucial to honouring their sacrifice – but so little is known about so many of them. We are calling out to the nation, asking them to send us photos and stories of these remarkable men - these fathers, husbands, brothers. Tell us who they were, where they were from, what they did – make them real, give them dignity. Bringing the individual to the forefront of these unimaginable numbers will help the nation to truly understand the scale of the loss of those who gave their all.’
Although Shrouds of the Somme is aimed at creating a visual memorial in the 100th anniversary year of the end of the First World War, it will also act as a rallying point for public donations to military charities still supporting the veterans of today, such as SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
To find out more, visit https://shroudsofthesomme.com/
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