A suitable memorial to Coventry's heroes - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

A suitable memorial to Coventry's heroes

Coventry Editorial 19th Jun, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A PUBLIC vote will decide the design of a piece of artwork at War Memorial Park to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

Two have been put forward by artist Steve Tomlinson who was chosen ahead of 16 others to come up with the £25,000 lottery-funded piece.

Both are based on the shape of beech tree leaves – the first trees to be planted in the park in remembrance of fallen service personnel.

The chosen design will also incorporate the date August 4, 1914 – the day the conflict began – and include an information panel in the shape of a beech leaf providing further detail on the artwork for generations to come.

The public vote opened on Monday and runs until next Friday.

War Memorial Park itself was created by the then Coventry Corporation as what was decided would be a perfect lasting tribute to the soldiers from the city who died fighting for their country between 1914 and 1918.

Last year the park and entrance gates were given Grade II listed status by English Heritage.

Coun Abdul Khan, the council’s culture spokesman, told us: “Now, a hundred years on, it’s fitting that we mark the start of the war with a new piece of art – a new lasting legacy for the people of Coventry to remember the past and look forward to the future.

“The park is a great asset for local people to enjoy and to remember, and I know it’s much loved by local people.

“Now we want Coventry people to decide which one they want. I encourage everyone to play their part by voting over the next two weeks so we can see what their preference is.”

Votes can be cast up until midnight on Friday, June 27 online at coventry.gov.uk/parkart, by emailing communications@coventry.gov.uk or at the park’s Visitor Centre.

Option Two is based on three beech leaves on their side. Each will have smaller images depicted between the veins with the date included on a ring around each leaf stem. The first leaf will depict machines and the role of men during the First World War including Coventry’s bi-plane and the different forces. The second leaf will depict the role of women including women working in munitions and on the land. The third leaf will depict the park as it is today with four mini themes depicting sport and play, remembrance, music and recreation.

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