A councillor in Bristol asked if he could take part in reading out the names of the dead which we did throughout the time the shrouds were on display. He proceeded to stand for 7 hours in the cold and the rain without a break and said, “They didn’t stop, so neither will I.”
“The idea for stitching 72,000 shrouds came when a man came up to me at the display in Exeter and told me his Great Uncle was killed on the first day of the Somme but his body was never recovered. He went on to say, “This feels like he is back on British soil for the first time in 100 years.” That got me thinking that if anybody should come home, all those whose bodies were never recovered should come home.” Rob Heard, Shrouds artist
The eldest person to visit the Shrouds in Exeter was 102 year old Cissie. She was very moved and had a long conversation with Rob about how he had managed to make all those shrouds.
One couple travelled 250 miles from Northallerton, Yorkshire to see the shrouds in Bristol. They had seen it on the news the day before; it had been so moving that they decided to make the epic journey to see for themselves.
Rob’s wife Karina talks candidly about how the shrouds has affected all of their lives. “I can’t tell you how proud of Robert I was. From the minute he wandered up to me in the kitchen and said “I think I’m going to make 19,240 figures to represent the dead of the first day of The Somme” to that point then, stood there, watching him patiently talking to the public, shaking endless hands, signing autographs?! A constant flow of people thanking him.” Read the full story from Karina.