Monday, 3 August 2009

The Last Tommy

I have been working on this sculpture for a while. The helmet was found decades ago in my garden which was the site of a camp in the First World War. It has a long crack (not visible in this image). Whether that was due to damage in war one can only speculate. For a long time the helmet hung in the porch and provided a nesting site for sparrows who carried on oblivous of people entering the house or sitting in the porch. But the sparrows have disappeared.
I wanted to create a memorial to those many men lying in graves in nearby Salisbury Plain who died of their wounds,dysentry and the flu pandemic having returned from France. I was not sure what to call this piece but the recent death of Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier to have fought in the First World War trenches, decided it.

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