Blacksmiths’ Forge-in for new Poppy Cenotaph in Ypres, Belgium

In September 2016, a new World War 1 Cenotaph will be launched at the Grote Markt, in front of the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium. This new Cenotaph will be adjacent to the German War Cemetery at Langemark Poelkapelle.

The Cenotaph will commemorate everyone involved in the conflict, both military and civilian on all sides – all those who died, all those wounded, all those displaced – and of equal importance, their families and their communities.

In the War of 1914 -1918 blacksmiths and farriers were indispensable in sustaining the war effort on all sides. In September 2016, hundreds of blacksmiths from around the world will come together in Ypres to remember all those affected by the war and to create a Cenotaph based on the internationally recognised icon, the Flanders Field Poppy.

In honour of this spectacular event blacksmiths across the world are taking part in making 2,016 poppies in total to mark the year – of which Kingston Maurward’s very own resident blacksmiths Simon Grant-Jones, Brian Hill, Rob Fielding, some of their talented students, and the prestigious Blacksmiths Guild – now based at Kinston Maurward – recently made 200 poppies in one day to commemorate the craft’s historical involvement.

Blacksmithing, Kingston Maurward College

Forged Flowers: Poppies in fabrication during the ‘forge-in’

During the on campus ‘forge-in’ ten members of the Guild created the flowers using the template designed by Eminent Master Blacksmith Terry Clarke. A competition is also taking place for panels for the cenotaph – of which the winning design and its blacksmiths will go to Belgium to put it together.

Kingston Maurward College Principal Clare Davison attended the event and addressed the blacksmiths commending them on their skill and commitment.

She said: “We are very proud to be part of such an important commemorative exhibition. It is vital for us as purveyors of this craft to take part in and support something of this scale, something that means so much to the blacksmithing industry both of its past and its worthy involvement in World War 1, and also to the blacksmiths of the future.”

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Kingston Maurward College, Blacksmithing

Proud: Blacksmithing students with their wares

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