Shrouds of the Somme
On 1st July 2016, 19,240 hand-stitched shrouded figures will be laid out in Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, Devon, UK, to represent each individual British serviceman who fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
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The project has been conceived by artist Rob Heard and folk singer Steve Knightley of the band Show of Hands to commemorate, 100 years after their loss, those who died on that fateful day, a day described as the worst in British military history.
The installation will be unveiled at 7:30am, 100 years to the minute after the first whistle was blown to tell the men to go ‘over the top.’ Rob Heard began making the hand stitched shrouds for the commemoration in December 2015 and has crossed off a name for each one from the lists of the men who were killed.
The Fallen section includes a record for each of the 19,240 who died at The Somme on 1 July 1916. And Rob and his team are asking the nation to contribute photos and memories of relatives, friends and community members in order to create a lasting legacy of those who lost their lives and help to create what we anticipate to be the most comprehensive and detailed database of those who were lost during the Battle of the Somme. The database will be on their website and will be looked after by the project’s committee.
Since 16 April 2016 there has been an opportunity to purchase one of the 19,240 figures framed or unframed, allowing the public to own their own piece of this unique and memorable project.
Some of the money raised from sales of the figures will be donated to SSAFA, as the military charity that was there during World War One and until this day - providing support for Armed Forces and their families.