To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 72,396 shrouded figures will be laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder covering an area over 4000 square metres across the South Park Lawn (next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit). Each figure represents a British serviceman killed at The Battle of the Somme who has no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields.
The shrouded figures represent those who are listed on the Thiepval Memorial in France – data sourced from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The figures are covered and bound by the handstitched shrouds, taking on their own form, twisting and bending into their own unique shape. The display provides a moment for reflection about the physical reality of the war, in approximately 1:6 scale.
Entry to this event is free and all profits raised from donations will be given to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Entry will be based on a queuing system, therefore there may be a wait to enter and bag searches will be in place. The site will be mostly outdoors so make sure you dress appropriately for the weather on the day.
The enormous scale of the event demonstrates the true cost of the conflict, whilst remembering those who gave their all as individual men. This is an artwork of international importance which will resonate around the world!
Please visit our ‘Getting Here’ page for guidance on how to get to the event.