COMMISSIONING OF THE ARTIST
Since announcing the intention to raise a Memorial to the Regiment, there have been a number of important developments the first of which is that a sculptor, Andrew Sinclair, has been commissioned. His design, which will be unveiled in maquette form at Apsley House on 6th March by The Duke of Wellington, will reflect the full history of the Regiment, all those who served as well as the families that supported those in uniform. The Memorial will also celebrate our traditional recruiting area of the West Riding, an aspect to the whole project that will be reinforced by having it situated in Halifax, our home for over 200 years. For those interested in Andrew’s work, he has his own website at www.andrew-sinclair.com.
Members of the Association will be aware that fundraising for the Memorial started last year and the excellent news is that to date over £70,000 has been raised, a figure that will be further increased once Gift Aid is reclaimed. Add to this the generous grant of £50,000 from the Trustees of the Regimental Association and we are well on the way to achieving our fundraising goal of £225,000. The sharp eyed will see that this figure has increased and there are a couple of reasons. Firstly the design by Andrew Sinclair was so compelling it was felt that, even though it was over the original budget, it was one the Committee felt we simply had to commission. The second reason is that the unveiling will now be in early 2019. At the outset we set as a target the autumn of this year but we quickly came to the conclusion that with so much happening to mark the end of World War 1 we would simply not get the level of public interest we want. Furthermore we want the unveiling to be a major Regimental event and that will also need to be funded.
The funds raised to date have in the main come from individual members of the Regimental family which is really heartening as it is concrete demonstration of the support the project has even before the design has been made known. Further to this was an excellent event held at The Leathersellers Hall in London in February, thanks to David Santa-Ollala’s help and support, which celebrated the rugby heritage of the Regiment. Nigel Melville, Director of Professional Rugby at the RFU (and brother-in-law of Andrew Drake) gave an excellent talk after which there was an auction the result of which was that the evening raised over £10,000 for the Appeal .
Following on from the Apsley House event the next stage of our fundraising will begin and this will involve a publicity campaign in Yorkshire to broadcast what we are doing to as wide an audience as possible. We shall be organising specific fundraising events in Yorkshire, details of which will be publicised once confirmed. Applications will also be made to other charitable trusts seeking their assistance with the project.
Finally we intend to post regular updates on the progress being made with the Project. This will of course be posted on the Regimental website so that everyone knows what is happening.
Virtutis Fortuna Comes
President of the Association
If you would like to be a member of the 500 club and would like to attend the Apsley House Reception on 6th March please the forms for the 500 club online by 28th February as we have a few spaces left and email Caroline: email@example.com.