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Commemorative artwork to mark 100-year First World War anniversary

Commemorative artwork to mark 100-year First World War anniversary

Coalville will pay tribute to North West Leicestershire’s war heroes with a new piece of artwork in Memorial Square.

This year’s Remembrance Day will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, and North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has commissioned the new sculpture ahead of the anniversary.

The new artwork will be officially unveiled at the launch of the Poppy Appeal on Saturday 27 October.

The eight-tonne stone sculpture by local artist Graeme Mitcheson (pictured with the stone before it was carved) will depict Coalville and district’s contribution to the Great War using stone donated by Aggregate Industries, Bardon quarry. 

The artwork has been funded by a £5,000 contribution from NWLDC and £10,000 from the Coalville Special Expenses Fund, which is available for worthwhile community projects, activities, initiatives and events based in and around the town.

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion at NWLDC, said: “We will never forget the sacrifice of our war heroes and local people and we feel this new piece of artwork is a worth tribute on the centenary of the end of the First World War.

“The sculpture is a beautifully designed piece of art and it will be stand proudly in Memorial Square for many years to come as a poignant reminded of those that served, and so often gave their lives in the war, as well as the families they left behind.”

Graeme Mitcheson, artist and sculptor, said: “It is a real privilege to work on this sculpture and I am enjoying the work and the challenge of working with local granite which is extremely hard.  I am making good progress and I am looking forward to seeing the final work on site in Memorial Square.”

Councillor John Geary, Chairman of Coalville Special Expenses Working Party, said: “I am very impressed with Graeme’s work and seeing the artwork develop from sketches to the sculpture today is very satisfying.  Having the artwork in place before the 11 November is very important and unveiling it on the 27 October, at the launch of our local RBL poppy appeal is very appropriate.  This sculpture will be a long lasting commemoration depicting the whole community involvement in The Great War.

Steve Duckworth, Chairman of Coalville Heritage Society, said: “The artwork is fantastic and will be a fitting addition to Memorial Square.  Sculpted from local granite it will be a long lasting commemoration to the involvement of Coalville in World War One.”

Published: Tue 2 October, 2018

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