It is the Wound in Time.
The century’s tides, chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Carol Ann Duffy (2018)
As we leave behind November, those frosty mornings and chilly nights are really beginning to creep in. December is a busy time for us all, so before we get caught up in the festive mayhem on the countdown to Christmas, we wanted to take time out to reflect on a very special commission…
The Armistice of the 11th of November 1918 was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I, it came into force at 11am and each year all around the country a two minute silence is held.
You can imagine our delight when the Royal Regiment of Artillery reached out ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. Each year, on Remembrance Sunday, they hold a special service at Hyde Park, but knew they needed something a little different to honour the centenary.
They asked us to recreate the seven foot wreath they laid at the service held when the war memorial was first unveiled in 1925. The original wreath was composed of laurel, bands of roses, and springs of rosemary. They indicated that this wreath had to be robust as it would be transported as part of the ceremony on a gun carriage pulled by horses, belonging to the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
Of course we were up for the challenge, with the help of Frames for Florists we sourced the perfect structure, the metal frame matched the shape required and would be strong and resilient throughout the day. We loved the use of flowers and foliage, not just because we were honouring a design from decades ago, but because these choices are full of meaning:
Laurel – symbolises victory and honour
Roses – the national flower of England
Rosemary – remembrance and mourning
We loved creating the beautiful contrast in texture, using therich roses and rosemary against the smooth laurel:
As you can see this took some constructing!
[Insert a few of the photos you sent me of the process here]
…but to see the finished wreath in situ, standing proud against the stark stone of the memorial that was both powerful and a real honour:
We’d like to thank the Royal Regiment of Artillery for commissioning us to recreate this wreath.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon (1914)