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"This is a call to be brave," Andy Edwards stated at the start of the project. "It celebrates that auspicious occasion when soldiers from either side of a conflict which bore 37 million casualties put aside their fear, hunger, anger and sorrow and shared gifts, including the most famous game of football ever played. Our small but growing team are giving our all in frantically creating - with no money - a prototype of a monument to that trust in each other. That cause must never be forgotten."

Sculptor's studio in the Wedgwood Factory, Stoke-on-Trent
www.cornoviiedwards.com

Watch the making of the sculpture at
www.youtube.com

St. George's Park National Football Centre, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England




Andrew Edwards applying the finishing touches in Castle Fine Arts Foundry Liverpool studio
www.bronzefoundry.co.uk

The idea to create a Christmas Truce Statue began some years ago.

As the WW1 centenary approached sculptor Andrew Edwards was invited by the Football Association to create the monument as a lasting tribute to footballers who fought in the Great War. The site would be at the National Arboretoum in Staffordshire, the home of the Armed Forces Memorial and a growing number of military commemorative statues. Accepting the honour as both artist and life long football fan, Andrew created a maquette for this prestigious commission and inspired by the story and as a tribute to the song by Liverpool band The Farm he entitled his sculpture "All Together Now".

A quarter size copy was cast in bronze and permanently installed at The FA's St George's Park National Football Centre, Burton-upon-Trent and presented to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the opening in October 2012.

The momentum for the project was lost but sculptor Andrew Edwards and his team wanted to keep alive the vision of a lasting memorial to the Truce. Commemorating the event with as a memorial not of war but of peace. As the centenary of the Christmas Truce draw closer there was a realisation that this significant moment would be gone. The possibility of self funding the enlargement of the statue was discussed. A lightweight resin copy could be cast which could be transported and man-handled without specialist equipment and exhibited at the site of the truce on Christmas Day, to mark the historic day.

The resin could also be toured and displayed in different locations to create public awareness by the telling the story and its wider message and to kickstart a campaign to raise the funds to create a permanent memorial.

A people's monument for peace

It was decided that the right location should be the Belgian town of Mesen, also known by its French name Messines, the closest town to what has become the most well known site of the Christmas Truce at Ploegsteert or "Plugstreet" as it was nicknamed by the troops. No Man's Land ran directly around the town and was occupied by German troops throughout the war. Already located in the town are the Irish Peace Field and the Peace Village and it seemed the appropriate site for the statue. That it belonged there.

The team travelled to meet with the Mayor and the Council of Mesen, presented the maquette and proposed that the money would be raised to cast and install the full-size statue in the town square as a gift from the British and Irish people. The offer was excepted with both surprise and gratitude and with the hope that the statue would attracted visitors to the town to keep the story of the Truce alive for future generations.

The public response to the statue has been overwhelming and this has lead to led to expanding our vision for the project with the aim to cast three copies. The first for Mesen, one in Britain and one Germany.

We are currently developing a funding strategy with a number of partners and considering possible sites.

 

The full size resin sculpture was first displayed at St. Lukes, "The Bombed Out Church" in Liverpool from 14th to 21st December 2014. The church was hit by a fire bomb in WW2 and now a shell, stands as memorial to the blitz. The statue recieved such a positive response from visitors that there are plans to begin a campaign to raise the funds for a bronze copy to be permenantly sited at the church, which hosts a range of community events.



www.stlukeliverpool.co.uk
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Bombed-Out-Church



The Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool hosted the sculpture for the Liverpool Echo Christmas Carol Concert on the 19th December 2014 and the sculptor met The Farm who performed the song that had inspired him
www.liverpoolecho.co.uk


From the12th January to 5th Febuary 2015, the sculpture is on display in the Memorial Chapel of the Cathedral.
www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

"All together now" by The Peace Collective, 2014

To mark the centenary, this resin statue journeyed to Belgium and stood on the site of the truce in former no man's land on Christmas Day 2014.

On boxing day 2014, the sculpture was displayed in the Meningate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium.

Watch the Video of the statue in the Menin Gate Last Post commemoration.