Sculpture unveiled in Leicestershire.

The sculpture that I have been working on over the last few months has been unveiled near Burrough on the Hill in Leicestershire. The sculptural memorial remembers the 10th Battalion the Parachute Regiment who were stationed around the villages of Somerby, Burrough on the Hill and Thorpe Satchville near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire for 9 months during World War 2. The Battalion described their time in rural Leicestershire as “The best of times during the worst of times”. On one face the memorial has the names carved of all of the men who died whilst carrying out the fateful mission to capture strategic bridges in Holland, named Operation Market Garden. On the other face, a very different scene as soldiers are captured strolling through Somerby, laughing and talking to land girls. It was decided at the very beginning of the project the the artwork should commemorate the fallen but it should also recognise the memories and some of the good times that were had by both the soldiers and the locals during their brief stay in this rural location.

The sculpture unveiling was attended by over 600 people and included a parade by the Parachute regiment and a parachute drop into the field behind the artwork. There was almost a fly past by a Lancaster bomber however some last minute gusty winds prevented it from taking off from a nearby airfield. The 3 piece sculpture is 6m in length and 1.8m high and is carved in Woodkirk sandstone. Fundraising for the work was carried out by “The Friends of the Tenth”, a charity created by families of the fallen. The money raised not only paid for the artwork but also for the surrounding landscaping and interpretation, the dedication event and also for ongoing educational work in schools locally and also in Holland.