Dukes’ Memorial Sculpture: Soldier 2

Andrew Sinclair is now into the second Soldier of the three life sized figures as part of this composition.

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Video by David Ainley of the Second Soldier

Now Andrew Sinclair is into the 2nd Soldier – the 2nd of 3 figures as part of this composition. It has been remarkable watching this process and seeing the design unfold and enormous amount of work that is going in to this incredible statue. Just have a look at this next video…..


Global appeal of Regiment’s statue unveiling and Army life really has been a family affair for the five!

Great granddaughter Dawn Bray was interviewed… 

Four granddaughters and the great grand daughter of Corp William Gartside are proud to share their story.  The family of Corporal William Gartside hope to be making an emotional trip to West Yorkshire from Australia when the statue commemorating the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment is unveiled next year.

“As an Australian, I find it difficult to reconcile that the Dukes are not already commemorated in this way.“Every small town in Australia has a WWI memorial with the names of the fallen and local regiments have been honoured for decades.“This is why our family have made a contribution to the commissioning of the memo- rial, which will take pride of place in Halifax’s town centre.

“I call on all other members of the Dukes family to give what they can, even if it is a few pounds, on behalf of our brave forefathers and to honour their courage and service which has given the Regiment such a proud name.

Frear brothers who have all served….

It’s often said that the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment is like a family, but the Frears really were brothers-in-arms. All five of the siblings, from Cleckheaton, served in the regiment, with eldest brother Ken first, although he died in service aged just 19 in 1956. He was followed by Robert, John, Cliff and Christopher, all of whom are fiercely proud of their Dukes connection.“There is one other family I’m aware of that (in the Dukes) had five brothers,” says Cliff, 70.“It makes the family connection even tighter. We had some good days and bad days.

And the brothers also agree next year’s statue to the Dukes, to be situated at Woolshops in Halifax, will be a fine tribute.“The memorial means everlasting life doesn’t it?” adds Cliff. “Now the Duke of Wellington’s name will live on for- ever, which is very important.

“I think it’s a super idea,” says Chris. “The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment were, without a doubt, the finest regiment in the British Army for lots of things.

“Everything about it was really, really good and it’s a fitting memorial.”

Hindoostan Shooting Club’s Charity Clay Shoot

At the behest of their Head Keeper Adam Brown that eclectic band of itinerant sporting men united only by a cap badge and a cap, the Hindoostan Shooting Club, staged a clay shooting day on Friday 6 July at the Bisley shooting ground with the aim of raising money for the Dukes Memorial appeal.

For a somewhat disparate group who had hitherto only met up a couple of times a year in obscure parts of the country to blast frenzied salvoes of lead shot into the air in the not always successful quest of hitting something other than themselves this was quite an undertaking. Not only were they to put on a clay shooting competition, but also a classy lunch followed by a charity auction. This required the members to scour their contact books and corral as many competitive and, above all, well-heeled punters they could find to make up the teams as well as wheedle attractive and free auction prizes that would inspire some cut-throat bidding.

Perhaps, some thought, this task they had set themselves was one drive too many for the day. However, to the confoundment of any doubters the event was an absolute triumph, much enjoyed by all participants and realising the not inconsiderable sum of £15,000.00 for the appeal.

On the day a total of 52 guns organised into 13 teams plus a few hangers on were treated not only to some magnificent weather but also to a professionally organised and challenging shooting experience. To the occasional game shot shooting clays has two major drawbacks: first you cannot eat them and second that there is absolutely nowhere to hide. Out in the shooting field one can blaze away merrily and at the end say that you shot a brace or two and nobody is usually any the wiser. At a clay stand, however, your woeful technique, poor stance and wonky master eye will be revealed in all their awfulness.

Happily, however, the Bisley staff, clearly all grizzled veterans of many a terrifying breach of shotgun safety, managed to keep even the most nervous shot more or less on target and some very good scores were recorded. Shooting over, everyone retired to the imposing Bisley club house for a delicious lunch followed by the auction. This was the moment for Under Keeper Andy McNeilis to step forward and reveal that all those many nights spent at corporate charity auctions over the years have paid off big time. His performance was a tour de force. Indeed so persuasive was he in generating bids that one member’s son bid up to Four figures on a lot before being eventually outdone to the obvious relief of his father!

The star prize was a tandem parachute jump with the SAS and, naturally, this generated a lot of interest amongst the non-military attendees – at least those – not many – under the 16 stone weight limit. Of course, the ex-military participants kept their hands firmly by their sides when this lot was auctioned. They knew that the tandem jump would be one thing, but the landing would be quite another as extraction from the DZ would undoubtedly require a forced march over the Hindu Kush living on lichen and drinking one’s own urine. As it happened this lot eventually realised £4,000.00 which is very impressive. Let’s hope they all made it back safely.

All in all a very good day’s work for the HSC and hopefully the first of what will become a regular event.

HSC Club Captain, Adam Brown welcomes and introduces the guns.

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

Group shot of all the award winners.

Group shot of all the award winners.

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

The Council Club Garden Bisley – Before lunch – Guns Relax

The Council Club Garden Bisley – Before lunch – Guns Relax

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

Participants/Guns assemble for breakfast and registration at The Council Club, Bisley.

Council Club Bisley – Dining Room Lunch

Hindoostan Shooting Club – Prizes/Awards

Awards and Raffle prizes

Awards and Raffle prizes

Shoot Captain Adam Brown Introduces Lunch

Adam Brown – Shoot Captain draws the Raffle and awards prizes for the day

Andrew McNeilis – Auctioneer with help from Caroline Cary Executive Fundraiser for Memorial Appeal

Andrew McNeilis – Auctioneer with help from Caroline Cary Executive Fundraiser for Memorial Appeal

Auctioneer – Andrew McNeilis – after lunch

Auctioneer – Andrew McNeilis – after lunch

The Council Club Garden Bisley – Before lunch – Guns Relax

The Council Club Dining room – guns assembled for lunch

Andrew McNeilis – Auctioneer with help from Caroline Cary Executive Fundraiser for Memorial Appeal

Adam Brown – Shoot Captain draws the Raffle and awards prizes for the day

Adam Brown – Shoot Captain draws the Raffle and awards prizes for the day


Halifax set for lasting memorial to the Dukes

In the first of a series of articles by the Halifax Courier marking the unveiling of a new memorial to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in Halifax town centre next May, Tom Scargill speaks to Brigadier Michael Bray about the upcoming statue and its importance to the Dukes.

The monument is being produced by world-class sculptor Andrew Sinclair and will be installed in Woolshops next May.

“It’s a fantastic idea and we’ve hit on a superb sculptor,” says Michael Bray.

It’s going to be spectacular. “What we want is that people who walk by will stop and look at it, and their children may say ‘wow mum, what’s that about?’ And we think that will be the case.

See the full article here: Dukes

Jack Donkersley – man who ran away from home to join the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment……….

A man whose father ran away from home to join the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment has completed an emotional journey to retrace his footsteps.

Jack Donkersley left his home in Oldham to join the Dukes in 1934, and his son Brian has run that same 19-mile journey as a tribute to his dad and to raise funds for a memorial statue that will be installed in Halifax to commemorate the regiment.

He was joined by retired corporal from the regiment, William Hoyle, with the pair completing the run in three hours and 14 minutes.

“We were worried about the smoke from the Saddleworth Moor fire and you could really smell it, but it didn’t affect us really,” said Brian.

“We’re both in pretty good shape as it turned out, so the initial climb wasn’t too bad, and then we had a nice bit downhill to Denshaw with the breeze in our faces.

“I’d let Ripponden School know about the run in advance and their pupils all lined-up to cheer us on as we ran past, which was great.

Then when we reached the bowling club there was just a real sense of achievement.

“It really was a super day and we had some terrific support. The adrenaline was really pumping when we finished.

“All the way round there was never a thought of us giving up. It was there to be done, and we did it.”

Brian had set a target of raising £500 but has raised close to £900 so far.

On the Dukes memorial statue, which will be unveiled next May, Brian added: “I think it’s great for Halifax. It’s very much known as the Yorkshire Regiment now, so this will put the Dukes into the public consciousness.

“I’m hoping to be there for the unveiling – if I get invited!”

To donate to Brian’s cause, visit www.justgiving.com/Brian-Donkersley1.”

National Champion Yacht Beneteau

How lovely to see one of the auction prizes from the rugby event held in March in aid of the Appeal being taken up. This was a unique opportunity to charter the prestigious National Champion Beneteau First 40 SFIDA, for an outing on the Solent and then enjoy lunch on the lawn at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes.  Thank you to Gareth Williams Nicholas Bonham and Nicky Boothright who made it happen.

The outing in Beneteau was kindly donated by Gareth Williams – Managing Director at Promocean Yacht Charter, and is the youngest person to have completed the Whitbread Round the World race at 17.

A message from Gareth Williams….

Yesterday we had the pleasure of Sailing with a group of wonderful ladies in honour of the Duke of Wellington’s Memorial Appeal which Caroline Cary has worked tirelessly on to raise funds for this deserved Charity.  Back in February Nicky Boothright was the successful bidder at a fundraising event which culminated in the beautiful trip today with lunch at the Royal Yacht Squadron generously donated by Nick Bonham.  Needless to say a fun time was had my all in the blazing sunshine, sailing around the Solent.  We are delighted we were able to assist in donating the lot but it is thanks to Caroline for her efforts in organising such a wonderful event & auction, to Nicky for her generous bid and to Nick for making the day extra special with our visit to The Squadron.  We are glad we were able to contribute in someway to the appeal and hope Caroline reaches her target. To see more and donate please go to:  https://memorial.dwr.org.uk


Armed Forces Day – Halifax

Armed Forces day this weekend saw a fun day for the DWR maquette! The day started at 0700 when John Hogg arrived on site fully loaded with the stall and all its exhibits. Set up by 0800 and dressed in uniform close to the the Woolshops site so it was easy to explain where the Memorial would be located.

Everyone commented favourably about the maquette and many said they can’t wait until it is in place.

Thank you Janet and Charlie Helmn who both attended and helped him throughout the day which he was so grateful for especially as it was so hot!

Later in the afternoon Charlie accompanied John around 3 pubs, the first – The Jubilee – the landlord ess – her son served in the ‘Dukes’ and the walls apparently are covered in ‘Dukes’ memorabilia – after a short while the singer introduced them to the small crown of about 20 in the main bar as “Pte Thomas Atkins – 33rd of Foot” – John then recited “Tommy – by Rudyard Kipling. They did the same in the Duke of Wellington and the Weatherspoons at Barum Top.

John must have posed for a hundred photos with people and/or children but most of all there was very much interest and support for the Memorial. We were asked if we would attend another two events, one of which is for the Order of Buffaloes in about three weeks. They are keen to get involved with the fund raising with us.

So if you want to help us please get in contact! johnhogg441@gmail.com or be part of this fund-raising effort we would love you to support it.

Moulding and Casting

Moulding and Casting – 1strubber coat.

Once the sculpture is finished and approved by the client, the next process is to make the mould. The clay is initially covered with a thin layer of silicone rubber (with the consistency of single cream). This is carefully applied to the clay surface using a brush, making sure that all the nooks and crannies are filled and that there are no trapped air bubbles. The second image here shows Andrew applying ‘Plastishim’ (his invention, which has become standard practice in all foundries and the film industry), which create the dividing walls/seams  for the forthcoming fibreglass jacket application.

Moulding and casting – 2nd rubber layer.

After all the Plastishim seams are in place, another coat of rubber is applied all over them and the sculpture. The picture shows Andrew’s technical assistants applying a thicker coat of rubber, completely covering everything.

Fibreglass jackets.

The image shows the first few fibreglass and resin jackets in place. The entire sculpture will eventually be covered in this way – it is a very time-pressured process which must be completed quickly and efficiently before the resin cures.

Prepping the mould.

Seen here is the finished hand mould. Andrew is trimming the rubber, tidying the seams and making sure that it fits snugly back into the fibreglass jacket. The rubber will be washed to remove the old dried-out clay before the mould is sent off to the foundry for next stage – casting in wax.

Removing the fibreglass jackets. You may not want to publish these in case they give too much away!

These are great images which I’ve included for you, but not too sure you would want to reveal how the figure looks – as we discussed, we don’t want to lose the WOW factor before the unveiling. Andy worked from 6am ‘til 10 pm the day before we flew to Canada – to make sure they were ready for the foundry-man


Filming with David Ainley

Filming with David Ainley.

David Ainley has been commissioned by the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Appeal Committee to produce a film of the sculpting process for Memorial Sculpture – this was his first visit and gives you an insight into the amount of time and thought involved in this project with every attention to detail.