Dimbleby’s Somme sculpture unveiled
Today, on the centenary of the first day of the first Battle of the Somme, the most devastating battle in history, a sculpture by Nicholas Dimbleby is to be unveiled commemorating the 374 former pupils of Cranleigh School in Surrey who fell in battle during their school’s 150 years.
Dimbleby, an old boy of the school and the brother of David and Jonathan Dimbleby, was commissioned by the school to create the piece, called Leaving.
“There is a burden of responsibility with a war memorial that perhaps weighs more heavily than with other commissions” he said.
“My client for this commission has been the children, in particular those of school leaving age – whose predecessors one hundred years ago walked straight into war. Through conversations with these young people it became apparent that the desire for peace greatly outweighs the ‘nobility of death in battle’ and that therefore this should not be a ‘generic’ memorial, simply a listing of the fallen.”
The sculpture is surrounded by a glass panel listing the Old Cranleighans who have fallen in battle to date.