22 Jan Bronze soldiers at Leicestershire County Council HQ will be a lasting tribute to heroes
Four life-size bronze soldiers are to be placed outside Leicestershire County Council’s headquarters as a permanent memorial to those who have lost their lives in conflict.
The sculpture, which depicts young recruits taking part in a military drill, will be unveiled at County Hall, in Glenfield, in the autumn.
Artist’s impression of Stand Easy, bronze statues designed by Glasgow sculptor Kenny Hunter, the public’s favourite
Artists were asked to submit designs for the memorial and five were shortlisted from 70 entries, with the public asked to give their views.
The chosen design, called Stand Easy, was created by Glasgow-based sculptor Kenny Hunter.
Bereaved families have been invited to work with the artist to develop an inscription for a plaque, which will feature as part of the design.
Helen Gray, mother of Ratby soldier Private Chris Gray, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2007, is among those involved.
She said: “I’m really pleased that there will be a fitting tribute to those who have lost their lives.
“It means a lot to people like me and will give us a place to go and contemplate and just think quietly.
“We would like somewhere to leave messages which can be read by others.”
Mr Hunter is working with a group of armed forces recruits and young people to develop plaster casts, which will be used to model the bronze figures.
The memorial will cost £75,000.
Royal British Legion county president Peter Roffey, who is also chairman of the Support to the Armed Forces Working Party, said he was delighted that the memorial had been commissioned by the council.
He said: “Kenny Hunter’s interpretation with four life-sized military figures was clearly the favourite in the public consultation and mine, too. It’s a very fitting tribute to the fallen heroes of Leicestershire.”
Bosses at the authority said they wanted to create a lasting tribute to local servicemen and women who have died in wars around the world since 1945.
A council spokesman said the sculpture was to focus on commemorating those who have lost their lives after 1945, as the first and second world wars were already represented with memorials across the county.
However, he said the memorial was not exclusive and it was hoped it would become a central point for remembrance across Leicestershire.
County council leader David Parsons said: “Kenny’s design is a thought-provoking and sensitive interpretation, and will provide a place of contemplation, reflection and respect for the public and visitors.
“We owe a huge debt to local men and women who have died fighting for their country in conflicts around the globe, and we believe that honouring their lives with a lasting tribute is the right thing to do.
“We hope that the memorial will become a central point for remembrance across Leicestershire and I look forward to seeing it take shape.”