As part of the Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered project, a 7m high obelisk was designed, manufactured and installed by Bay Plastics to complement Mark Humphrey’s bronze sculpture of the Centenary Soldier. Installed in Trafalgar Square before embarking on a four year UK tour, the soldier stands in a field of poppies, which flutter up and softly fall, paying tribute to each and everyone for the sacrifices they made in World War I. In this way the soldier is “surrounded by his comrades and fellow men, creating a spiritual ambiance about it,” Mark explained.
The Every Man Remembered project was inspired by a 14 year old Girl Scout following a battlefield tour of France and Belgium, and her incredible compassion towards the 1,117,077 Commonwealth service men and women who lost their lives during the First World War.
Utilising extensive plastics expertise gathered over 25 years in business, Perspex Distribution was chosen to supply 20mm Clear Cast Perspex® acrylic sheet as the ideal material for the project due to its clarity, impact strength and excellent fabrication properties. At over 7m high, structural integrity was required to accommodate wind loadings and adverse weather conditions, so Bay Plastics teamed up with a local steel fabricator Motech. In order to enable transportation and portability the obelisk was constructed in 3 sections using stainless steel to produce a skeleton framework onto which the Perspex® panels were fixed.
Extensive research was then required to establish the mechanism by which the poppy petals would be circulated around the statue. After much experimentation, the correct combination of fans and sequencing was achieved resulting in the magnificent spectacle that is the Centenary Soldier. The contribution of Vanguard 2001, a northeast based company, further provided invaluable experience and expertise in delivering the project in terms of transport, logistical and installation support.
In this centenary year The Royal British Legion and The Commonwealth War Graves Commission are working to keep alive the memory of those who fell in the First World War. The aim is for every single man and woman from across the Commonwealth who fell to be individually commemorated by those alive today. Bay Plastics Managing Director Michael Currell commented: “We are proud to have contributed to this marvellous piece of art which so poignantly honours the fallen. We have worked with Mark on previous projects and had no hesitation in offering our support and expertise. We encourage everybody to get involved in the Every Man Remembered project”.
If you would like to take part in a truly historic and incredibly significant act of Remembrance, visit http://www.everymanremembered.org/ to make your donation.