War sculpture at art café

Nic Joly with his miniature sculpture Never Forgotten
Nic Joly with his miniature sculpture Never Forgotten

A new miniature war sculpture designed to raise the funds for The Royal British Legion will be unveiled at a cafe in Daventry.

The piece called Never Forgotten by Nic Joly is at the Evergreen Art Café in Sheaf Street and has been created to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The gallery is hoping to help raise thousands of pounds for The Royal British Legion through the sale of miniature limited edition sculptures.

The collection will be available at the cafe from Monday.

Simon Williams, Evergreen Art Café Gallery owner, said: “Never Forgotten is an emotive piece and reminds us to remember all those past and present, who have served and given their lives for the country. We feel very privileged to have the sculpture on display for the people of Daventry to come and remember the lost soldiers of the First World War.”

The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading armed forces charity, providing support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families.

Nic Joly, who is known for his miniature pieces of sculptural theatre, has created 1,566 bronze pieces, reflecting the number of days that the First World War was fought. He has also included information on the back of every one to explain what happened on that particular day, making each one unique. Each piece costs £695 and £100 from each sale will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

The artwork depicts two soldiers raising a red poppy – a direct reference to one of the most iconic images of war: the Joe Rosenthal photograph of US soldiers raising the flag on the island of Iwo Jima during the Second World War.

The idea for the piece was conceived in 2012 after meeting a 96-year-old war veteran who had flown a glider into Arnhem in the Second World War, just weeks after the D-Day landings.

Nic said, “I want this piece to remind us that all those who have given their lives in conflicts from the First World War until the present day will be ‘Never Forgotten’.

“I was struck by the fact that what we all think of the first war is as distant history, a black and white image based view. The meeting made it all so real, and so relevant. All those that fought and died were just like you and me – they were normal people in a terrible situation but doing incredible things.”