Remembrance Doves officially unveiled to commemorate WW1 centenary

A memorial art installation of ceramic doves, created to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1, was officially unveiled at Ipswich School yesterday (Tuesday 6 November 2018).

The Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Jane Riley, placed the final dove on the installation outside the front of the school on Henley Road.  The memorial was then blessed by Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, in a ceremony watched by pupils and staff, along with former Ipswich School pupils and invited guests.

The Parachute Regiment Band were present to play music at the event, with Headmaster Nicholas Weaver giving a short address to commemorate the memorial art installation, which is one of the number of events organised by Ipswich School to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War.

The doves, almost 800 of them, were handcrafted by the school’s Art Department.  Each pupil was then invited to write a name on a dove, to pay tribute to someone who had fought or died in the war.  These people may be a family member or family friend, or someone who features on their local or the school war memorial. 

The flock of doves flies from Ipswich School’s Remembrance Tree, which was planted in 2014, seemingly through the School Chapel window and then continues inside towards the school’s Great War memorial and beyond. The installation inside the Chapel is lit with coloured spotlights to provide a thought-provoking display.

Nicholas Weaver, Ipswich School Headmaster, said: “We were inspired by the Tower of London poppy display from 2014 to create something that would provide a focal point for the school’s WW1 commemorations.  The memorial artwork has seen pupils and their families think about relatives and members of their communities who may have been involved in the conflict. The doves, which also symbolise peace, remind us all of the part we have to play in learning from the Great War.”

A flock of doves has also been created at the Prep School on Anglesea Road. They are located at memorial stones, situated between the car park and Lower Prep building, which mark the boundary of the barracks which used to be located on the site at the start of the twentieth century. The 330 doves – one for every Prep pupil and staff member - swoop around the memorial stones and head off towards the town.

The memorial artwork at the Senior School is open to the public on Remembrance Sunday (11 November) from 12noon to 2pm.  People are welcome to visit the school on Henley Road during this time to see the Remembrance Doves along with an exhibition of photos from the school archives and other memorabilia from WW1.  There will also be music and readings in the School Chapel, which will be open for quiet reflection.

On Wednesday 14 November, Sixth Form students will be giving a lecture about Ipswich School’s involvement in the Great War.  The lecture is open to the public, and takes place in Great School, Ivry Street, 4.45-6pm.

You can view a gallery of photos from the events here
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