Welcome to the Royal Wootton Bassett Branch - No. 2619
Royal Wootton Bassett received a beautiful gift of a marble sculpture of a Poppy, in gratitude for the way in which the town showed honoured to the repatriated personnel.
The Poppy, called ‘Forever’ is situated at the junction of Marlowe Way, and has been sculptured in Carrara marble. It is the creation of International award-winning sculptor, Mark Humphreys who was born and grew up in Wiltshire, He felt he wanted to make this gift to the town for the way in which people showed honour and respect to those personnel who were repatriated through Royal Wootton Bassett. It is also a memorial for all those who served in these conflicts.
The design was inspired by his grandfather who engraved a brass bombshell taken from the Somme, where he once served as a young soldier. Mr. Humphrey has also made public art commissions for the Royal British Legion and Royal Armouries and RAF museum, including ‘Every Man Remembered, which was unveiled in Trafalgar Square to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.
Mark Humphrey chose marble, the hardness representing the harshness of war and the white of the marble representing peace. Each petal of the poppy is in the shape of a heart, expressing, gratitude, honour, love and respect, meeting to join in the middle to form a cross – the symbol of sacrifice and forgiveness. It weighs 4.5 tonnes and is 3m across and had to have specially prepared base for it to rest on. At night it was illuminated in red, the colour of Remembrance. The official unveiling of the Sculpture was carried out by Princess Anne on Tuesday 21 June 2016.
Below are some pictures showing the stages of construction of the Sculpture -
Unfortunately a few months ago in the early hours of the morning, the Sculpture collapsed and has had to be removed. At this point it is not known what the future of the sculpture will be. It is sadly missed as it was a very unique masterpiece.
Plans are in hand regarding the situation of replacement but we must be patient as a great deal of planning is involved along with many other factors including the cost.