Sunday, January 12, 2014

The "Trench" of poppies, Beverley Minster


[Photographs courtesy of Mrs Colette Hodgkinson]

The photographs above show the Beverley Minster "Trench" of poppies by Martin Waters (top three photographs) and the Beverley Minster pulpit (bottom photograph). They were taken on Remembrance Sunday, 10 November 2013. 

For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information


One day, the Humberside-based artist Martin Waters went for a walk at Spurn Beach on the Humber estuary in search of inspiration. Walking along the beach, he came across a poppy wreath washed up on the beach - one that had most likely been placed out at sea to remember fallen heroes of the seas in past times.

Seeing this poppy wreath an idea came into the artistic mind of Martin Waters. He was interested in history and would sometimes make things from items he found washed up on the beaches of East Yorkshire. Initially, Martin Waters, who is based at the Kingston Art Gallery, Hull, was inspired to create artistic displays using old poppies and poppy wreaths and based on the theme of 'Remembrance'.

The first two displays were created at Holy Trinity Church, Hull. One was called "Drift" and the second was called "Trench". This was an idea that struck a chord with the public. When the "Trench" exhibition at Holy Trinity Church, Hull came down many people left their own poppies as a longer-lasting tribute to loved ones or forebears who had lost their lives in war and conflicts.

These earlier exhibitions led to an invitation to create an even more ambitious display at Beverley Minster for Remembrance time, 2013. It was also called the "Trench" (in French "La Tranche") representing a World War One trench of the Western Front. This work of art, in the north transept of Beverley Minster, can be seen in the top three photographs above.

Sunday, 12 January, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The Beverley Minster "Trench" of 2013

Martin Waters creative work for Remembrance time at Beverley Minster 2013, "Trench", was made from more than 10,000 poppies donated by the general public for the purpose. Most of the poppy donations came from people in East Yorkshire but also from many countries worldwide. In fact, Mr Waters received 30,000 poppies which will be used for future exhibitions along a similar theme.

The poppies emulate the real ones that grew in the fields of northern France and Flanders during the 1914 - 1918 war. Yet, in the artistic mind of Martin Waters this large display also represents the immense empathy people have towards those killed in or as a result of war and conflict, including civilians. Beverley Minster's 2013 display included poppy crosses. They represented the graves of the fallen on the battlefield.

In addition to "Trench", Martin Waters created another display in the Minster for Remembrance time - one that used donated photographs and entitled "Scarred Earth". This was a display of donated photographs of battle sites from all over the world including some from the United States and Jamaica.

What are the thoughts that the images of this display rings to mind? Looking at the "Trench" of Martin Waters, one can see a certain solemnity to it. There is a definite sadness for those who lost someone in wars and conflicts. Everyone may think about a different person when looking at "Trench" but in doing so, there is a link with others who have lost a friend or family member. One may also feel a sense of heroism and commemoration. Those who have died in war are still remembered by their relatives and in the communities that still have a link with them.

Sunday, 12 January, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

A 'Book of Remembrance'

Beside the poppy art work of Martin Waters, Beverley Minster place a 'Book of Remembrance' in which members of the public could add their own thoughts and views of the exhibition. The long shadow of loss in the World Wars can last for many years. In fact, the death of a loved one can also have a significant influence on the life of the bereaved who are left behind.

Many of those who visited Beverley Minster on Remembrance Sunday 2013 attended for a special remembrance of family members affected by the loss of loved ones during the two World Wars and other conflicts. Two of those attending the Remembrance Sunday service at Beverley Minster on 10 November 2013 were Tony and Colette Hodgkinson. In particular, they were remembering Colette's uncle, Stoker Bruno Darby from Cleator Moor. Bruno one of 151 men and boys who were lost when HMS Beverley was sunk by German submarine U-88 on 11 April 1943.

In addition to submitting the above photographs, Mrs Colette Hodgkinson has also kindly made the following contribution about the art work and the Beverley Minster 'Book of Remembrance':

"There was a book beside the poppy art work and you could write in it why you were in the Minster on Remembrance Day.There were some very moving stories written in it.

Then, you were invited to add your own poppy to the display so that your thoughts joined those of other people. It was very, very moving and a lot of tears were shed by people.

I found myself feeling real grief for someone I had never met, yet I felt I know him.The son of the cook on the Beverley was brought up in an orphanage as his mother died three months after his father was killed. Each one of his three sisters became nuns as they were brought up in a Catholic orphanage.

He told me he has only now come to terms with what happened - in his seventies. War touches everyone even generations later."

Many more personal and poignant stories such as these were written in the Remembrance Book at Beverley Minster. The shadows cast by the loss of a loved one in war can be long ones.

Sunday, 12 January, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

A Sermon for Remembrance Day 2013

The 2013 Remembrance Sunday service at Beverley Minster was attended by about 900 people, before a march through the streets of Beverley to the war memorial and the HMS Beverley Memorial in the Memorial Gardens. The Minster service was led by Reverend Jeremy Fletcher (Vicar) and the preacher was Reverend Fiona Mayer-Jones (Curate).

Every Sunday a sermon is preached from the Minster pulpit, seen in the lowest of the photographs (above). The sermon given at Beverley Minster on Remembrance Sunday 2013 was different to the others given on the other Sundays of the year. The theme of the sermon was inspired by the display created by Martin Waters. It makes one think about 'Remembrance' and wearing of a Remembrance poppy. Does 'Remembrance' end with Remembrance Sunday or does it continue, even if in a different way, throughout the year.

Below is a transcript of the Remembrance Day sermon:

"What do you do with your poppy after Remembrance Day? Do you throw it away? Or keep it for next year? Does it languish in a drawer until you come across it in a few months time? Perhaps you have a very particular place for it?

It’s something I’ve never really thought about until I was reading in the paper about Martin Waters’ installation “Trench”. If you haven’t seen it “Trench” is in our north transept, over my right shoulder, it is made up of 10,000 poppies, poppies donated mainly by the people of East Yorkshire. In all Mr Waters has had around 30,000 poppies donated to him which has allowed him to create this and other thought-provoking installations in the region.

But the Poppy is a symbol of our remembering. So I want to ask of us the bigger question – what will you, what will I, do with our remembering after Remembrance Day?

Today there are many acts of remembrance, tomorrow, on the actual 11th of November, there will be more. What happens on Tuesday, and the next day and the next? Will we put our remembering away until next year - when we will get it out again and brush it off?

For some of us here that isn’t what will happen because for some of us the remembering is more personal, because with it is mourning – mourning what has happened to a colleague, a friend, a partner, a parent, a child. That isn’t something you can switch in and out of in line with the calendar.

But for many of us we are at more of a distance sharing in solidarity in that remembering – and while it is not as personal for us, it matters. How we remember and what we do with our remembering, matters.

What we do on Tuesday, matters. Because if we just put our remembering, along with our poppies to one side, then we have not remembered rightly this weekend. Right remembering is about more than setting aside a day in a year to remind ourselves of the facts. Remembering rightly is about how we live in the light of those facts. Especially today as a community, as a nation.

In the Old Testament the people of God, the Israelites, were forever being called by God to remember – to remember who they were, where they had come from – and it was usually at times in their life when things were going wrong. But that call to remember wasn’t about just reminding themselves how they had got into their current mess, it was also a call, more than that, a promise to a future that would be different.

We heard it in that first reading – written against a background of war and occupation by a foreign power – words, a promise of a different future. And God’s promise for a different future is for all nations, not just one."
[Given at Beverley Minster, Remembrance Sunday, 10 November 2013]

Sunday, 12 January, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...


Following the service at Beverley Minster, those present reassembled outside the Minster and walked through the town to the War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens. Once there, the memorial service continued. Wreaths were placed at the war memorial and at the HMS Beverley memorial.

The use of the poppy to create a work of art came to Martin Waters when he came upon an old poppy wreath which had been used to commemorate some who had been lost at sea and most likely with no known grave. Developing the idea of using the poppy as an art form for 'Remembrance', Martin Waters created "Trench" with two principal ideas in mind. The first was that of a mass grave and the second was that of the trenches.

"Trench" has proved to be a well-received means of Remembrance. of those who are remembered were lost on land, others were lost at sea and yet others in the air. For some of them, their final resting place is known and others who have no known resting place. The Beverley Minster "Trench" of poppies demonstrates that those who lost their lives in war have not been forgotten.

May they rest in peace and may those who have beeb bereaved find peace and acceptance.


"In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you."
[John, 14:2, Authorised Standard Version]


Thanks to the following:

Mr Tony and Mrs Colette Hodgkinson

Beverley Minster

Sunday, 12 January, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Click on the following link for some information and photographs about Beverley's Memorial Gardens and its memorials:
Beverley Memorial Gardens and War Memorial

Sunday, 12 January, 2014  

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