17th July 2018
The Land Trust were delighted to attend the opening of the Fallen for the Fallen mural at Chester Cathedral last week, as the tribute to the Upton soldiers who gave their lives in World War One went on display for the very first time.
The mural has been created by children and young people of Upton under the supervision of artist and teacher Julie Mitchell, to commemorate 100 years since the end of the World War One.
The five part textured mural invites the viewer to walk The Poppy Trail from Upton War Memorial to the Land Trust site at Countess of Chester Country Park, and has been created by The Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park, working with tree carver Paul Edwards.
The trail is designed to spark memories, not only of those who died during the Great War, and whose names are on the Upton War memorial, but also of those who came back, often physically or mentally scarred.
Julian Clayton from the 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment, who attended the opening and cut the ribbon, said:
“These things really matter. I think sometimes in modern history, we have through the media and other means, glorified essentially what is a really terrible thing, which is war, and this was one of the biggest and the worst.
“I think it’s remarkable and fantastic and really encouraging for us as soldiers that the people in the community still care about the things that were done on their behalf in the past.
“It’s a really great piece of art and I can tell the amount of research and detail and effort that has been put in by everybody is fantastic.”
The installation forms a major part of a wider project by the Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park’s Fallen for the Fallen project. The project has used a cedar tree from the Upton area, planted about the time of the Great War, which had come to the end of its life and had to be felled.
The wood is being used to create a walking trail of carved poppies from the Upton War Memorial to a carved bench in the Countess of Chester Country Park.
Andy Scargill, from The Friends of Countess of Chester, said:
“Fallen for the fallen grew out of a simple wish to somehow remember the 27 servicemen on the war memorial at Upton, who died in what can only be described as the unimaginable horror of the killing fields of France, 100 years ago.
“The journey began with a tree being felled in a suburban road in Upton and it’s going to end with a permanent memory and a fitting tribute to those who fell, for us, 100 years ago.”
The mural will remain in the cathedral during July and August before moving on to a new home.
It can be viewed at all times that the cloisters are open and a comments book is available for visitors to write their thoughts in.
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