All 72,396 Shrouds of the Somme were laid out from the 5th of November by VolkerFitzpatrick and soldiers of 1 Royal Anglian at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The installation was open to the public from 8th to the 18th November 2018 over the centenary of the WW1 armistice. More than 85,000 people visited over the 11 days, including Princess Anne and over 4,000 children.
Visitors’ engagement and time spent on site far exceeded expectations – not only to view the Shrouds themselves, but also the Lost Lives exhibit and names displayed in the marquee. The emotion displayed and tears shed were testament to the impact of both the Shrouds and the scale of the losses one hundred years ago which still resonates generations later.
Worldwide press coverage was extensive – all main UK TV channels including Sky, and newspapers, TV coverage in France, Spain, Germany, Austria, China, India, Russia, Australia, Canada and US plus the New York Times. Social media reach was in the many millions.
The closing on the night of 18th November was a simple thank you and quiet moment of reflection – a fitting end to remember those Fallen at the Somme.
The Shrouds were all taken up by the 1 Royal Anglians the next day and the site is back to where it was before, bar the ‘ghosts’ – marks left on the grass where the Shrouds lay.
A heartfelt thank you to all those who contributed and stuck with us through thick and thin, and those of you who came to see the Shrouds, it has been quite a journey.
Rob and the Shrouds team