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UPDATE: Buy a piece of history & honour fallen soldiers

by Chris | News, Stories

We’re so impressed with your pledges and lovely comments for this amazing campaign. When Rob Heard’s video went live on our Video Draw Tuesday just over £5,000 was pledged. Four days later £18,880 has been pledged, we can only assume, mostly from PMPers. Only £1,120 to go before it is fully funded. I would love to say that we helped take it over the line. If you haven’t seen what we’re talking about yet, please check it out here.

The video featured Somerset artist Rob Heard who currently has a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his art installation Shrouds of the Somme.

Rob has spent the last 4 years making 72,396 shrouded figures. Each one represents a commonwealth soldier that died at the Battle of the Somme whose body was never recovered. 

Rob started making the Shrouds after a car accident that made him think about other people with life-changing injuries, like soldiers returning from battle with physical and emotional scars. He wanted to create something that illustrated both the scale of loss and the individual human impact of conflict

One of the driving ideas behind the Shrouds of the Somme is to create a physical representation of the numbers involved in World War 1. When you hear a figure like 72,396, it is almost impossible to imagine what that many people would look like, let alone that they were lost over the course of just a few months.

How can you help? Well, the campaign is selling limited edition enamel shroud badges; each is individually numbered in a limited edition of 72,396 – one badge for each shrouded figure. They are just £5 each plus P&P. The money raised from selling these badges will help fund all of the production costs of the piece so that any further money they make go straight to his chosen charities, SSAFA and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The Shrouds have been on display in smaller groups around the UK in Exeter, Bristol, Belfast and Salisbury. They will be on display at Aerospace in Filton, South Gloucester as The Trench from 29th September – 14th October and Rob is currently working hard to complete the last few thousand shrouded figures, ready for display in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in six weeks time – when all 72,396 figures will be laid out shoulder to shoulder for the first and only time to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1.

The Shrouds of the Somme exhibition in London is free and will be open from the 8th – 18th of November, with the honour of a visit from HRH Princess Anne who will lead tributes to the fallen on the 15th November.

To help fund this important project, head to the Video Draw and check out the Rob and then head to the Kickstarter page.