The Home Coming artwork by sculptor Ian Etheridge was unveiled at a special ceremony on the centenary of the end of the first world war, Sunday 11 November 2018.
This sculptural relief is made from tulipwood (white poplar). It depicts the research and stories of the Home Coming project and what it was like for staff and former pupils from North Primary School to return to civilian life at the end of The Great War.
Ian worked with the Year 6 pupils who developed the designs for the artwork. Ian wrote: The day produced many excellent results and I was overwhelmed by the positive attitude and effort the pupils put in to their work. It was obvious that the children had a pride in their school’s history and their local heritage. They showed great respect for the issues involved in Home Coming and many were able to convey genuine feeling through their drawing. It dawned on me that I now had a big responsibility to create an artwork that did the project justice!
The Home Coming artwork is on permanent display in the school hall, hanging opposite the roll of honour. The two works are a beautiful legacy of these projects and demonstrate the pride the headteacher, staff and pupils have in the heritage of North Primary School.
Whilst the roll of honour commemorates the 76 former pupils who served and died in WWI, the Home Coming artwork looks to the social changes at the end of the war. The stunning art deco style rays of sunlight shining on the school signify the hope for future generations.
The medals which border the left and righthand side of the artwork depict Pip, Squeak and Wilfred: the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal respectively. Also included is the Silver War Badge which was awarded to an injured soldier such as George Sargent.
People and stories featured in the artwork are: