Museum visitors and passers-by will be invited to dedicate and insert a poppy into a brand new sculpture due to be installed at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, today (Monday).

The sculpture – honouring the one million UK and Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First World War – is part of an exciting new venture, organised by The Royal British Legion and international award-winning artist designer Mark Humphrey. A share of donations will also go to the Never Such Innocence Charity.

From next year, the Royal British Legion and Royal Armouries are hoping the public will personalise and dedicate a poppy to an armed forces or family member who has died as a result of conflict.

Royal Armouries is home to the national collections of arms, armour and artillery. The poppy sculpture will form one of the focal points at the museum’s Armistice Day service on Monday, November 11, from 10.45am to 11.30am, led by the Rev Gordon Warren, Chaplain of the Royal Navy.

Royal Armouries’ Head of Creative Programmes Karen Whitting, said, “As Britain’s oldest public museum, Royal Armouries aims to honour and acknowledge the huge debt that Britain owes to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and their role in shaping history. This sculpture allows everyone to pay their own personal and individual tribute and we are delighted to be participating in this way.

“The sculpture will be placed within our Leeds museum’s Hall of Steel, and we are sure people will appreciate the poignancy and significance of the sculpture at a time when our minds are firmly focused on Remembrance.”

Mark commented, ‘Our poppy sculptures are temporary memorials of remembrance, utilising The Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal, designed to be installed in public spaces across the UK. The installations are an emotive and interactive symbol, commemorating the great sacrifices made by all the soldiers who died in World War One. An educational Public Art Centenary, generating pride for our communities: built by us, for us, remembering us…’

Commemorating awareness and generating donations for our armed forces, Charles Byrne, Director of Fundraising at the Royal British Legion said, “The sculptures are a moving tribute to the lost servicemen who fell in World War One. We are hoping that large and medium companies throughout the UK will join us to install the sculptures in their lobby or workplace all year round and not just during the Poppy Appeal. We have had an amazing response so far with companies big and small supporting the initiative throughout the centenary year. The sculpture can easily be installed in places like a library, school entrance or a local shopping mall.”

This year, sculptures are also being placed at London landmarks, including Victoria, Cardinal Place and Waterloo Station, plus the RAF Museum.

The Royal British Legion is working with community groups, schools, shopping malls and parish groups in England, Scotland and Wales preparing for the centenary of the First World War. Over the coming months it will be launching a series of initiatives to commemorate the occasion and highlight the vital work the charity does in supporting armed force families today. If you are interested in having a sculpture at your workplace please contact The Royal British Legion on 020 3207 2100.

For more information and the latest news about the Royal Armouries:

Royal Armouries website
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Notes to editors

Royal Armouries is home to the national collection of arms and armour, including artillery, and has three British sites – at the Tower of London; a purpose-built museum in Leeds; and at Fort Nelson in Hampshire.

The Royal British Legion is the nation’s leading Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy –

Mark Humphrey – is an international award winning Artist Designer. He works in the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Lighting, Fashion, Textile and Industrial Design including Sculpture and Public Art. Mark invents multi-purpose interactive works, he terms Product Sculptures and livable spaces he calls Architectural Installations: exploring the balance between form, function, material and construction, he crafts pioneering interior and exterior environments with his team of specialists. He is quoted as ‘a new super-discipline of visual creativity’, working without any boundaries in the creative industry.

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