Soldier silhouettes relocated to Hell Wath in Ripon

A silhouette of soldiers, that originally formed part of Ripon’s centenary of armistice commemorations in 2018, have been relocated this week (Tuesday) to Hell Wath.

The sculpture was temporarily located in St John’s Church grounds in Sharow but have 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, Econ Engineering, Tarmac, Ripon Farm Services, Friends of Hell Wath and 21 Engineer Regiment from Claro barracks.

At its height, Ripon hosted more than 30,000 soldiers.

Each 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 during this and subsequent conflicts. Nellie is leading the injured silhouette of John home, representing those who return from conflict visibly or invisibly changed in some way.

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

By being displayed together once more it is hoped 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, Harrogate Borough Council head of parks and environmental services, 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.

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