On 1 July 2016 Belper commemorated the fourteen men from the town who perished on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The backdrop to the evening, the face of Jim Green, was the catalyst for a permanent version to be featured in the Belper Memorial Garden. After three years of fundraising that permanent sculpture /memorial will be unveiled on 30 June at 1:30pm.
It was the general public who persuaded the Belper In Wartime team to progress the idea and, in the main, it has been literally thousands of individuals who have donated to bring the dream to reality. That generosity could have been through putting a few coins in a bucket, buying tickets for concerts, buying a Sacrifice T shirt or by not buying a beer at Camra’s Amber Valley Beer Festival. Thank you to everyone for your generosity.
Designed by local artist Andy Mayers, ‘Sacrifice’ is manufactured from COR-TEN STEEL which, as it weathers, rusts slightly to give an orange / brown patina. An example of this is the Angel Of The North. ‘Sacrifice’ has been manufactured by Britons Fabrications and the design has been adapted slightly to stand the rigours of British weather.
The actual sculpture is in place and the unveiling scheduled but that is not the end. Fundraising is continuing to install education boards that will include elements of virtual reality. Imagine standing in the Memorial Garden with Jim Green or Walter Pepper talking to you. Plans are also in hand to create a programme for schools and to encourage tourists into the Memorial Garden which also contains the Centenary Stone commemorating Charles Stone VC MM.
The unveiling will be relatively short, approximately twenty minutes, but Andy Mayers and members of the Belper In Wartime team will be on hand until 3:30pm to talk about ‘Sacrifice’ and future plans. Please come along to remember The Fourteen.