Box serves as focal point at ceremony for the fallen

Wickham turns out in force as Box 459 lights the Square on Remembrance Day
Wickham turns out in force as Box 459 lights the Square on Remembrance Day
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DURING daylight hours it resembles a large rusted box, but after dark it turns into a stunning tribute to the fallen.

A sculpture and light installation called Box 459 has been the focus of a remembrance ceremony in the village square in Wickham.

Winchester mayor and Wickham resident Councillor Angela Clear led the ceremony at the box in front of more than 100 people.

Cllr Clear, who is chairwoman of Wickham Parish Council as well as a member of Winchester District Council, said it was as important as ever to remember people who have given their lives in war.

Cllr Clear said: ‘We are here because our society does care. We do remember those who sacrificed their lives, we remember those serving in the armed forces on behalf of their countries, the loved ones they leave behind and also those who are forced to leave their homes and undertake dangerous journeys, becoming refugees.’

Box 459 was unveiled in August in memory of the 459 men from the village who died in the First World War.

The box has 459 holes which are lit up from the inside at night, and there are a further 43 holes with coloured filters representing the fallen soldiers of the district’s 43 parishes.

Cllr Clear added: ‘We are gathered around an artwork which was created as a tribute to one global conflict, sadly a second would follow.

‘At a time when the effect of war upon families is brought home to us by the images of refugees fleeing their war-torn homelands, we are here to reflect on the realities of all wars, then and now.’

The piece of art was designed by AR Design Studio in Winchester.

The studio’s managing director, Andy Ramus, said: ‘This was a moving event.

‘Talking to the people in the crowd who left their homes and businesses at nightfall, you get a sense that our community really does appreciate opportunities to gather and reflect upon the impacts of all wars, both past and 
present.’