"Stourhead will never forget" sculpture trail 2015 to 2017 commemorating World War I

At Stourhead, the National Trust landscape garden in Wiltshire  between 2015 and 2017 we created five large installations. They commemorated the effects of World  War 1 on the local community and life and death of Harry Hoare, heir to the estate who was killed in Palestine in 1917. This project was backed by the Heritage Lottery fund and the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sureset, a company making permeable paving, provided the pyramids.

Above is our concept for Ebenezer Stone's Bicycle. He was a stable lad at Stourhead who made a bike before 1914 but lost both legs in the war. Below is the Bike and below that is a detail of the finished work.

The installation Arcadia to Armageddon  below  was  a 3D mural, about ten metres wide,  showing the transition of a rural peaceful landscape into a desolate battlefield full.  In the middle is a life sized horse ploughing a peaceful field while his head is in a gas mask as he heads into war. To the left are bright flowers and bees, to the right a scorched landscape of burnt tree stumps and blackened gnarled detritus.

                                            Below details of Armageddon

The Installation Gallipoli and the Middle East had two elements.  Immediately below is one element,  the Camel Train not a  train of camels but a camel carrying trains. This was  based on a photo in the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester  showing a train full of camels (see the photo further below). The Dorset Yeomanry  fought at Gallipoli and Palestine.  Harry Hoare, heir to Stourhead, was fatally wounded in the latter, his parents Sir Henry and Lady Hoare, owners of Stourhead, receiving the news on Christmas Eve 1917.

Below is the Anzac Sphinx, the name that the ANZAC troops gave to a rock formation at Gallipoli;along those murderous cliffs where thousands of them died 1915 - 1916. Troops of all nations added jocular names to sections of the front. "La bouteille de Champagne" referred to a a section of the French front and there was more than one Piccadilly Circus.

Harry Hoare visited the pyramids of Giza with his father before World War 1 during a visit to Egypt made in an attempt to improve the young man's health. The soldiers of the Dorset Yeomanry visited them on their days off when stationed in Cairo during the Middle East campaigns in World War 1. We  installed some pyramids near the obelisk and inscribed  on them commemorative motifs of the nations involved in Gallipoli: the red poppy for Britain, the cornflower for France and its empire, the soldier bearing a wounded soldier after the statue at Gallipoli representing British empire and Commonwealth troops, the  Turkish Memorial at Gallipoli, an arch with a crescent and a star  inscribed.

Below are some images of soldiers and camels in the Middle East campaigns courtesy of the Keep Military Museum Dorchester, Dorset. It  has excellent exhibits about the Dorset Yeomanry and World War 1.

We made a floating band to commemorate the musical entertainments which Ada  Lady Hoare organized for convalescent soldiers at Stourhead. They were allowed to boat on the lake. We also had in mind the scratch bands created by troops on all sides during World War 1.

                                       Below is an image of convalescent troops at Stourhead.

                  Below troops on all sides made music and put on entertainments.

To commemorate Harry Hoare, the heir to Stourhead we created a nursery scene with  the toys that an Edwardian boy might have had but there are intimations of his death in 1917 as a young man.

                                We held workshops to gather ideas for the installations.


             Below are two of the contributions of participants.

The boy survived despite a bayonet through his head. He was taken prisoner and nursed back to health.



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