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Shrouds of the Somme

The iconic installation commemorating soldiers who fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, which captivated millions when it was displayed in Exeter, is to be shown again. After hundreds of requests to extend the exhibition, organisers are bringing the breathtaking display to the grounds of Bristol Cathedral where it will be on show from 11 to the 18 November this year, marking the Centenary of one of the bloodiest battles in history and remembering all 127,751 British soldiers who lost their lives

The display was created by Somerset Artist Rob Heard who wrapped and bound each figure in a hand-stitched shroud, crossing the name of every soldier who fell on that fateful first day off a list sourced from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The Cathedral counts it a privilege to be working in partnership with Shrouds of the Somme to bring this extraordinary installation to College Green. It is particularly powerful to bring these figures into a space so recently used by the city for vigils of remembrance.  We hope the installation will prompt renewed reflection on events that took place a hundred years ago and on our current experience of war and terror." The Very Revd Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Bristol

“The Shrouds, along with the Poppies at the Tower are perhaps the most memorable WWI commemorations this country has ever seen,said Mel Bradley MBE, Project Manager. “The public response to the shrouds from around the world has far exceeded all expectations. We have a visitors book from Exeter with hundreds and hundreds of personal and emotional remarks from people trying to express the impact the Shrouds has had on them. This is reflected on our Facebook page with thousands of comments and video clip views of over 10million. It had a huge impact on the City of Exeter and has the potential to be even bigger in Bristol. The personal and community impact cannot be underestimated.”

'The exhibition was one of the most powerful Acts of Remembrance I have seen throughout my military career and subsequent time as President of the Royal British Legion for Devon. The raw emotion it produced in countless numbers of people, many of whom were in tears, some kneeling and praying and others stood rigidly to attention, was extremely moving. Without doubt this exhibition touches the hearts of all those who are privileged to witness it.”” Commodore Jake Moores OBE, Chairman of the Shrouds of the Somme.

Donations from the exhibition, which will be opened on Armistice Day, will be donated to Forces charity SSAFA, specifically to their Bristol branch supporting servicemen, veterans and their families in the Bristol area in times of need. Shrouds of the Somme has been shortlisted for a Remember WW1 award, results to be announced on 2 November. 

The Cathedral marking the centenary of the First World War with a remembrance project, We Have Our Lives, which remembers a fallen casulty for every month of the conflict. Exhibitions on display inside the Cathedral during this time include the online book of remembrance, Parcels of Comfort, which explores the letters and packages sent from the home to the front and an exhibition of student photography of the First World War graves in Arnos Vale.

The service for Remembrance Sunday will take place at 10am on Sunday 12 November, followed by a procession to Queen Square for the civic ceremony. There will be a special Choral Evensong to mark the end of the Battle of the Somme on Friday 18 November, followed by a closing ceremony for Shrouds of the Somme on College Green.

Next Shrouds of the Somme Dates

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