Monday, December 4, 2023

“Sacrifice” Memorial Unveiling



After three years of fundraising Andy Mayer’s sculpture / memorial ‘Sacrifice’ will be unveiled at 1:30pm on 30 June in Belper’s Memorial Gardens.

On the 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle Of The Somme, fourteen men from Belper died, almost all within the first thirty minutes as machine gun fire cut them down as they left the trenches.

On 1st July 2016 a centenary commemoration, entitled The Fourteen, closed with the revelation of a back drop, designed by Andy Mayers, that depicted the face of Lance Corporal Jim Green. The public response to the piece was such that work began on a permanent installation.

Three years later Belper In Wartime have raised the funding required to manufacture and install ‘Sacrifice’. Many individuals donated cash, bought T-shirts and trench cake, attended events and talks. Grants came from Belper Town Council, CAMRA and Belper & Duffield Rotary Club. The ‘Sacrifice’ fund was topped up with a sell out concert, ‘One Day’, featuring the musical legends John Tams and Barry Coope.

“We were trying to find a piece of symbolistic stage craft that would build up piece by piece through the show,” said Larry Waller, the Director of the 2016 commemoration, ‘The Fourteen’. “The idea was a physical construction that would grow a little each time. After our discussion Andy went off into the dark unknown of the artists creative space and two weeks later had a prototype. It was fantastic and really supported the narrative of that show. I still have goosebumps when I recall the reveal at the end of the play when what has become ‘Sacrifice’ came to life as the deep red lights shone through from behind revealing the face that we all see now in the beautiful, haunting and reverent work.’

Belper artist Andy Mayers works in a variety of media; traditional drawing and painting as well as utilising digital techniques. His current work includes portraits and local views illustrating Derbyshire’s industrial heritage. His working styles and ideas are constantly evolving and Andy enjoys experimenting and developing techniques to add a fresh perspective to his work. He is also a talented videographer and graphic designer.

Musicians John Tams and Barry Coope recently commissioned Andy to photograph them for promotional work related to the ‘One Day’ concert in Belper.

The backdrop for ‘The Fourteen’ was Andy’s first foray into set design. Since then he has worked on the plays ‘Hamp’ and ‘Bloody Mary’. He has been commissioned to produce a series of films relating to the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Andy has been involved in all aspects of the manufacture of ‘Sacrifice’. He has worked closely with Britons Fabrications and has observed the processes involved first hand.

The Unveiling Of Sacrifice will feature a song, ‘In One Hundred Years’, which featured in the 2014 commemoration ‘We’ll Be Home For Christmas’. Written by Belper’s Mat Williams, he will perform the song with Belper Musical Theatre. Derby’s Paddy Stafford will be joined by Belper Junior Musical Theatre to sing ‘Only Remembered’, a song associated with Barry Coope, John Tams & ‘Warhorse’.

However, the installation of ‘Sacrifice’ in the Memorial Gardens is not the end. Andy Mayers, along with the Belper In Wartime group, are continuing the fund raising in order to develop educational packages for students and tourists. This will include the opportunity to see and hear members of The Fourteen through smart phones and tablets as well as the traitional information boards.


WHEN: 30 JUNE 2019


TIME:  1:30pm (13:30)


‘Only Remembered’ performed by Paddy Stafford and Belper Junior Musical Theatre.

The Walter Pepper Letter read by Josh Sly

The Whistle


The Last Post

‘In One Hundred Years’ written and performed by Mat Williams and Belper Musical Theatre.

The unveiling will be followed by Larks In The Park featuring Belper Musical Theatre and Alfreton Male Voice Choir.

4 thoughts on ““Sacrifice” Memorial Unveiling

  • Patricia Swift

    Well done one and all. This is a right and fitting tribute. It is so powerful. Stunning!

  • Mrs. K. D. Land

    Visited Friday 5th July. Spectacular memorial ! My own father was fortunate enough to return home safely from WW1.My family & I visited some of the cemeteries in France & Belgium & saw the grave of my husband’s grandfather. Regarding “Sacrifice” my “grumble is however following personal injury …
    the information board is far, far, too close to the ground & most definitely not at a level for the average person to read comfortably whilst standing. I was not the only one who had to kneel, for some time, in order to be able to read it all. Eventually, reading over, I stood up, began to walk away, my balance let me down – I crashed down heavily full length onto the grass. I was shaken, have several bumps and grazes, strain etc. – my spectacles were severely bent (thankfully not broken) – and require remedial work by Boots. The lady who was with me on our Belper visit took me into the Ladies room of the nearby public house, to clean up. Had no option but to rest up yesterday, Saturday. Please, please raise the information board higher off the ground so that others may have the chance to read from a standing position, especially those like me who are in their seventies – and of course above. I would appreciate it if you would take note of my comments. Most definitely PLEASE DO NOT give my name on your website. !!! You may of course also remove my comments – hopefully having passed them on to “a man who can ” “so to speak” raise the boards.
    I will also recommend to other local WI members that they might like to visit “Sacrifice”.
    Thank you.

  • Mrs. K. D Land

    No sure why I am getting “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

    Do you really want comments – or not ?

  • Mrs. Land,

    I am sorry that our system bothered you. If I can explain, we have had a huge problem with bots, spam, and highly inappropriate links littering our posts, as well as some extremely racist comments. So new commenters have to be checked by our anti-spam program and then approved. The great thing is that once we’ve seen that you aren’t any of these things, you should be able to post automatically. My apologies for the annoying delay. If you use the same email address, your posts will go straight up now.

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