Shrouds of the Somme
Shrouds of the Somme
An extraordinary remembrance installation commemorating those whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields of the Somme
An extraordinary remembrance installation commemorating those whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields of the Somme Read more
Thank you so much for your interest in Shrouds of the Somme – we are hugely grateful for your support.
Despite an overwhelmingly positive response, we are not going to meet our crowdfunding target. It was an ‘all or nothing campaign’ which means no money will be taken from your account.
Although we are very disappointed, Rob is continuing to stitch shrouds and one way or another, 72,396 shrouded figures will be laid out to remember those whose bodies were never recovered from the Somme battlefields. We are determined to see this through.
There have been some real success stories along the way including: gaining the wonderful British actor Jim Carter as patron; support from the Lord Lieutenant of London; a fabulous introduction from Show of Hands at their sold out Albert Hall concert; a hugely well-received launch at the Honourable Artillery Company and wide press coverage including BBC, ITV, Sunday Express and Soldier Magazine. There is more to come…
We would like to ask two things of you…
1. Please consider honouring your pledge either by:
- donating to the Shrouds of the Somme HERE – it will mean re-entering your details, but we hope that you will take the few minutes required to complete the process – we can now also collect Gift Aid which will add at least 20% to your donation
- pre-ordering one of the shrouds or photo books at our website HERE
2. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘subscribe’ so that we can keep you up to date with progress as kickstarter does not share your contact details with us.
Thank you again for believing in this incredible project – we will get there and honour those who gave their all.
Very best wishes
Rob, Jake, Mel and the Shrouds of the Somme team
Helpline: If you get stuck at any point feel free to call us on 07940 950396 or email: email@example.com
Shrouds of the Somme story
To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, artist Rob Heard will stitch 72,396 shrouded figures to physically represent each of the British servicemen (+ 829 South African infantrymen) killed at the Battle of the Somme, whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefield.
Planned for London in November 2018, the display is set to rival the Poppies at the Tower in impact and recognition of those who gave their lives. The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, over a million men were killed or seriously wounded. It is hard to comprehend the scale of this individual and collective sacrifice.
Rob's aim in creating this installation is to give a better understanding of the scale of the losses; what those vast numbers mean, and to individually honour each man who gave his life, but who to this day has no known grave. He wants in a small way to 'bring the boys home'.
Jim Carter, star of Downton Abbey, recently became patron of the shrouds, and described the installation as “the most moving and graphic depiction of the senseless death in the First World War that you can imagine.” You can see him talking about it HERE
Each body to a name
During the creation process Rob refers to a list of names of the British servicemen (and 829 South African infantrymen) whose bodies were never recovered and who are listed on the Thiepval Memorial in France, with data sourced from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Each figure he creates is associated with a name; each soldier individually acknowledged and remembered.
Rob cuts and hand-stitches their calico shrouds, then covers and binds the figures in the shrouds in a ritual of creation, remembrance and personal introspection. The figures have been specially made so that they are flexible enough to move into an individual shape as they are bound. Rob allows each one to take on their own form, twisting and bending into their own unique shape.
The difference this will make
Memory and loss
The minimum we need to raise is £150k. This pays for basic materials, some money for Rob’s time and some project costs.
Once the project is funded and the exhibition takes place we will then be raising money for SSAFA the Armed Forces charity who have supported servicemen, veterans and their families in times of need for over 100 years. At the exhibitions in Bristol and Exeter we raised over £52,000 for SSAFA and Exeter Foundation.
Your contribution is vital and this project cannot take place without you. Help make this vision a reality and be part of an extraordinary and internationally important piece of remembrance.
Risks and challenges
It is an extraordinary feat that Rob is taking on single-handedly. Part of the importance in the challenge is that one person (Rob) hand-stitches each and every shroud, with no help. It is also relevant that the project currently has no other financial support, because by crowdfunding we collectively become part of the project, across borders and social divides. Once this money is raised, many of the other challenges with putting on this exhibition in London will more easily fall into place, the venue and location in central London (currently on hold) can be confirmed and the additional investment needed to pay for items such as venue hire, security etc. can be made. (Pls see breakdown of costs above).
Rob has the track record to show that he is more than capable of achieving this significant challenge. In 2016, Rob exhibited 19,240 shrouds in Exeter and Bristol representing every British soldier who died on the first day of battle. The installation was breathtaking and the public impact was enormous. There were 145,000 visitors over the two weeks it was on display in Exeter (July) and Bristol (November). It was top of the BBC news nationally on Armistice Day and British Forces Broadcasting reported their highest levels of engagement ever. We had 13million+ views of one film clip on Facebook.
Kickstarter supporters can be confident that their money will be well invested into helping to make an awe-inspiring and ground-breaking art remembrance installation a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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