Schools in Gosport are being encouraged to take part in a nationwide project marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
The unique and historic art project will commemorate those who fell on the first day of the battle through a photographic and detailed legacy of all 19,240 Allied servicemen who lost their lives.
On July 1, 2016, at 7.30am, exactly 100 years since the whistle was blown to ‘go over the top’, 19,240 Shrouds of the Somme will be revealed laid out in Exeter’s Northernhay Gardens.
Each individual is represented by a hand-stitched shrouded figure and also has a digital record in The Fallen on the Shrouds of the Somme website.
Artist Rob Heard, who came up with the project, said: ‘We believe that in this age of digital technology we have a chance like never before of building up a photographic and detailed record of each of the servicemen who gave their lives on that tragic day.
‘We want schools, communities, families and individuals to get involved in this unique legacy. Let us know if you have photos, stories or memories of one of the 19,240, a relative or members of your community and send them in to us.
‘We can use these to remember them as individuals rather than just names in many thousands of names and help future generations understand the real human cost of war.’
Schools are being invited to register their interest at thesomme19240.co.uk/schools.
Their work will form a part of an exhibition at a schools open day on July 5.
Chris Lorimer, part of the 19240 Shrouds of the Somme team, said: ‘We would welcome schools from Gosport taking part in the project.
‘It’s a very important lesson for young people and they should get involved. From the feedback we’ve had already, people are realising that they have very close links with the Somme and that brings together the whole community, which is very important.’
Visit thesomme192140.co.uk/the-fallen. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.