Shrouds of the Somme and Lunch (18-Nov-18)

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Shrouds of the Somme and Lunch (18-Nov-18)


Be part of London’s commemorations marking 100 years since the end of the First World War at ArcelorMittal Orbit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. 72,396 shrouded figures covering an area of 4,000 square metres will be laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder. Each figure represents a British serviceman killed at The Battle of the Somme, who has no known grave.

A 2 course lunch is to be provided at the nearest Jamie’s Italian restaurant.


Book Your Day Out


The price for your day out includes:

  • Comfortable coach travel to/from Jamie's Italian restaurant;

  • 2 course set-menu lunch at Jamie's Italian in Westfield Stratford;

  • Comfortable coach travel to/from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park;

  • Access to The ArcelorMittal Orbit with astonishing views;

  • Our friendly courier with you throughout the day.

Itinerary for the day

  • 12:00 arrive at Jamie's Italian at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford.

  • 13:45 visit Shrouds of the Somme display next to ArcelorMittal Orbit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

  • 16:00 depart Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the journey home.

  • Arrive back at your pickup point 17:30-18:30.

Coach Joining Points and Pickup Times (RED route)

  • 08:30 Aldershot - Princes Hall

  • 08:40 Farnborough - Main Railway Station

  • 08:50 Frimley - Ye Olde White Hart

  • 09:00 Camberley - Bus Stop outside Railway Station main entrance

  • 09:15 Sandhurst - Bus Stop on Yorktown Road outside Sandhurst Group Practice and Boots

  • 09:20 Crowthorne - Bus Stop at Iron Duke Close (N-Bound)

  • 09:35 Wokingham - Broad Street Bus Stop outside Pizza Express

  • 09:50 Bracknell - Coach bay opp. the Market Inn at the bus station.

The Story of Shrouds Of The Somme

The idea for the artwork behind the shrouds, in which figures representing the dead are laid out in rows on the grass, came to Somerset artist Rob Heard in 2013 while he was recovering from a car crash. He got thinking about military fatalities in history and how impossible it was to visualise the huge numbers involved, “I tried to count out loud the number killed in just one day at the Somme, but ran out of steam at about 1,500.” He realised he needed to ‘physicalise the number’.Each of the 12 inch figures in a hand-stitched shroud is linked to a fatality at the Somme using records from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. “As I go through the process of putting the figure within the shroud, I cross a name off. It’s vitally important that each is associated with a name, otherwise the individual gets lost in the numbers.”The initial 19,240 shrouded figures took Rob three years to craft. He has now begun creating an additional 60,000 shrouds so that each of the 72,396 British and Commonwealth servicemen whose bodies were never recovered from the Somme are represented. “All these men are laying on the battlefield to this day and in some small way I would like to bring them home“. He plans to complete this enormous challenge in time to display the shrouds in November 2018 to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day. “It would be like nothing else – 4000 square metres of bodies laid out in rows, where they will be seen by thousands of people, reminding them of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”