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19240 Shrouds of the Somme project announced

Posted  31 March 2016 in News  
By Liz Robertson
Artist Rob Heard with the shrouds

In 2016, 19240 Shrouds of the Somme is remembering the 19,240 Allied servicemen who lost their lives on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The project has commissioned one Somerset artist, Rob Heard, to personally create 19,240 shrouded figures – a powerful piece of community art, to promote remembrance and raise money for military charities. This art installation and exhibition will be erected in Northernhay Gardens, Exeter and opened to the public on 1st July 2016. Commemorations for Exeter Armed Forces Day will follow on Saturday 2nd July. Please see the events calendar for all upcoming events.The project is supported by Exeter City Council in corporation with the 6 Rifles, The Exeter Foundation, Exeter Cathedral, Exeter University, Astley Media, Bowater Communications, Lorimer Consulting, Steve Knightley and Rokk Media.

‘This project is all about remembrance for all those allied soldiers who lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme and the Great War. It’s also about inspiring our community and creating a legacy for the future. Thirdly, this is about creating an educational resource that can be accessed by anyone interested in learning more about the events in July 1916.’ explained Jake Moores, OBE DL, Chairman of the 19240 Steering Group. ‘Our evolving website will include the most comprehensive database of the men who fell on the first day of the battle. We envisage the site becoming a major lasting legacy and resource.’


The Fallen section includes a record for each of the 19,240 who died at The Somme on 1 July 2014. The public can contribute photos and memories of relatives creating a lasting legacy of those who lost their lives and what we anticipate to be the most comprehensive and detailed database from the families and loved ones who lost a hero during the battle.

From 16 April 2016 there will be 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.


All Devon Primary and Secondary Schools have been invited to contribute by developing a project to help their students consider the impact of the Battle of the Somme on their own community. School presentations will be displayed at locations around Exeter, including the library and the Cathedral, during the week of the commemoration.

School groups will also be able to visit the Shrouds of the Somme installation on 5th July and older students have the opportunity to watch a thought provoking documentary on the Battle of the Somme, commissioned by the War Office at the RAMM (Royal Albert Memorial Museum).

19240 Shrouds of the Somme is supporting: The Exeter Chiefs Foundation, the SSAFA, the Army Benevolent Fund, the RAF Benevolent Fund, and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.


Melanie Bradley

07777 606504


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