An evocative exhibition, remembering the thousands of servicemen who died in the Battle of The Somme but who have no known grave, is to be held in Belfast at the end of the summer.
The ‘Shrouds Of The Somme’ project is a powerful piece of commemorative art which marks the centenary of the end of the First World War by remembering more than 72,000 Commonwealth servicemen who were killed at the Somme who have no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered and whose names are engraved on the Thiepval Memorial.
For the artwork, artist Rob Heard has hand stitched and bound 72,396 figures, one for each fatality: the shrouds depict a human form, individually shaped, shrouded and made to a name.
From 23 August – 16 September, 3,762 of the miniature shrouded figures will be laid out in the Garden of Remembrance at Belfast City Hall, representing those from the Ulster and Irish regiments, or from Belfast, with no known grave and whose names are on the Thiepval Memorial.
In November, all 72,396 shrouds will be laid out, shoulder to shoulder, in hundreds of rows at Queen Elizabeth Park on Armistice Day.
Similar shrounds have already been displayed in Exeter and Bristol, and attracted more than 145,000 visitors.
More information on the project can be found at shroudsofthesomme.com/.
As a lasting legacy of the project, relatives of those who lost their lives are being asked to share photos and stories of the men, telling who they were, where they were from and what they did. The aim of the project is that, by bringing the individual to the forefront of these unimaginable numbers will help the nation to truly understand the scale of the loss of those who gave their all. Memories, stories and photographs are being collected through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission digital archive: http://blog.cwgc.org/thiepval-stories/
ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, BELFAST CITY COUNCIL
NOTE TO EDITORS
The ‘Shrouds Of The Somme’ commemorates the 72,396 allied soldiers who died in the Battle of The Somme and who have no known grave.
Of these, 3,762 either served in the Ulster and Irish regiments, or were from the city of Belfast. The Belfast shrouds represent soldiers from:
Royal Irish Rifles (1,199)
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (841)
Royal Dublin Fusiliers (428)
Royal Irish Fusiliers (343)
Royal Irish Regiment (276)
Royal Munster Fusiliers (230)
Irish Guards (212)
Leinster Regiment (112)
London Irish Rifles (60)
Other Irish regiments (5)
Men from Belfast who served in other regiments (53)
For further information, please refer media enquiries to:
Media Relations Office, Belfast City Council
Tel: +44 (0)28 9027 0221
For media enquiries outside normal office hours, please call +44 (0) 79 1745 8070.