Exhibition will honour war dead

There are 19,240 shrouds included in the art project
There are 19,240 shrouds included in the art project

More than 470 soldiers from the Borders Regiment are to be individually remembered in a unique art project to commemorate the fallen of the Battle of the Somme.

The 19240 Shrouds of the Somme aims to commemorate all 19,240 allied soldiers who fell on the first day of the battle – July 1st, 1916.

Exactly 100 years to the day later, at the same time as the whistle was blown for troops to go over the top’, 19,240 hand-stitched shrouded figures representing every soldier will be laid out in Exeter’s Northernhay Gardens.

The names of the fallen have been marked by the artist Rob Heard using seven volumes of the War Graves Commission’s lists of those who died.

As each shroud is completed, he will the soldier’s name out loud and symbolically cross them off the list.

The Borders Regiment lost 474 men on the first day of the First World War battle.

Group Captain Robin Chambers, representing the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families’ Association, which is to benefit from the project, said: “SSAFA was there in 1916 to support the families of those who fell at the Somme and, since 1885 has supported all service personnel and their families.

“The 19240 Shrouds of the Somme Exhibition is another way in which we can show that we are here to help.

“The exhibition captures the brutality and emotional impact of service life, and we are honoured to be asked to supervise the exhibition.”