Soldier silhouettes relocated to Hell Wath in Ripon ahead of Remembrance Day

A number of silhouettes of soldiers, that originally formed part of Ripon's centenary of Remembrance commemorations in 2018, have been relocated to Hell Wath in Ripon.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:15 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:26 pm
The metal silhouettes have been moved to Hell Wath, a former army camp used in the first world war, ahead of Remembrance Day

The sculpture was located temporarily in St John's Church grounds in Sharow but have recently been relocated to Hell Wath in Ripon, thanks to the support from Harrogate Borough Council, Ripon Community Poppy Project, Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope Project, Econ Engineering, Tarmac, Ripon Farm Services, Friends of Hell Wath and 21 Engineer Regiment from Claro Barracks.

Hell Wath is a former army camp that was one of the largest during the first world war, and at its height accommodated a total of around 30,000 troops.

North Yorkshire Chairman, Councillor Stuart Martin, has worked to acquire a license to have the silhouettes installed at the site which is owned by Tarmac and is extremely pleased to have got them established at Hell Wath.

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He said: "I have been working on the project for over two years now to get the relevant permissions for the silhouettes and we have finally managed to achieve that.

"The silhouettes were made by Dan Metcalfe and the Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope project and we are really grateful to Dan and his team for helping with them."

Each metal silhouette tells its own individual story.

Fred, leading his horse Bones back home from the war, is based on a piece of silverware belonging to the Royal Lancers called 'Fed up and far from home'.

Nellie, the nurse, reminds us that it wasn't just men in uniform who served and the silhouette shows her leading the injured silhouette of John home, representing those who returned from conflict visibly or invisibly changed in some way.

At the front of the troop is the figure of Hope with helmet in hand, rifle lowered and head looking above and beyond the mud to the dawn of a new day.

By being displayed together, it is hoped that they are a fitting reminder of not just the fallen, but also of those that returned and the many who still deal with the legacy's left behind by conflict.

Alison Wilson, head of parks and environmental services at Harrogate Borough Council, said: "The historical military connection to Hell Wath makes it the perfect location to host this sculpture.

"It is an important reflection of the wide range of roles that make up our armed forces and a poignant reminder of those who have given their lives or continue to serve today and for that we honour them and their families."