Marking Remembrance Day With 200 Silhouetted Soldiers

A poignant company of 200, life-size Armistice Day soldier silhouettes has been assembled ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

In addition to the soldiers, the installation, which has been laid out on the open ground between the Palace and the Column of Victory, also feature 75 poppy wreaths and will act as a fundraiser for the Royal British Legion.

The ‘Standing with Giants’ figures are the work of Witney-based artist Dan Barton and are made from recycled building materials. His first major installation at the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve in 2019 proved to be a major success. Over a two-week period the site was visited by over 7,500 people on foot and viewed by hundreds of thousands as they travelled on the M40 motorway. Over £19,000 was raised for the Royal British Legion.

“This year, as a result of the coronavirus, many of the planned parades and services to mark Remembrance Day have had to be cancelled,” said Blenheim Palace’s Operations Director, Heather Carter. “We wanted to do something that would still mark the occasion and help raise awareness of the ongoing need to support our veterans and the amazing work being carried out by the Royal British Legion.

“Now, more than ever, the assistance they can provide is sorely needed and we hope Dan’s extraordinary figures will serve as a fitting tribute to all the fallen and a reminder of the terrible cost of conflict,” she added.

The 6ft tall soldier silhouettes, which have been made from recycled building materials, will remain in place for a two-week period afterwards so visitors can view them and also donate money.

The Royal British Legion deliver vital care and services every day in support of serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. They help to ensure the highest quality of care for those suffering physical and mental health issues and help families that need time to reconnect.

The first Remembrance Day was observed in 1919 throughout Britain and the Commonwealth. Originally called Armistice Day, it commemorated the end of hostilities the previous year. It came to symbolise the end of the war and provide an opportunity to remember those who had died.

The Palace has a long connection with British military history dating back to its creation back in the 18th century. Its construction was financed by Queen Anne, on behalf of a grateful nation, following the first Duke of Marlborough’s victories in the War of the Spanish Succession. It was used as a rehabilitation hospital for soldiers returning from the front in WWI and is both the birthplace, and the final resting place, of Sir Winston Churchill.

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