Wickham turns out in force as Box 459 lights the Square on Remembrance Day

Press Release: 13/11/2015

Box 459 in Wickham

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Angela Clear, led a ceremony in her home parish of Wickham on Remembrance Day and over 100 parishioners gathered around the Box 459 light installation for a moment of reflection.

Box 459, commissioned by Winchester City Council, has been installed in the historic square of the rural village and will remain for a year before continuing its tour of the district.

The sculpture was first unveiled on 4 August 2014 to mark the Imperial War Museum’s LIGHTS OUT event and has received international recognition for the team who created it at AR Design Studio Ltd in Winchester.

The steel light installation, which was inspired by the 1921 inscription on Winchester Cathedral’s War memorial that recorded a total of 459 fallen soldiers from the city, won a Surface Design Award in 2015.

Box 459’s dimensions mark Armistice Day – it is a 1100mm engineered steel cube. An internal light source projects powerful shafts of light through 459 apertures representing the city’s lost generation from this era of history. A further 43 apertures have coloured filters – these represent the fallen soldiers of Winchester District’s 43 parishes.

Over 100 local people attended the short ceremony in Wickham with representatives of the Royal British Legion, 1st Wickham Scouts Group, Wickham Church of England Primary School, Wickham Parish Council, Wickham Chamber of Trade and Winchester City Council and AR Design Studio all laying wreaths at the foot of the installation.

Revd Juliet Montague from St Nicholas Church and Fr Andrew McMahon from Park Place Pastoral Centre both read prayers before laying their wreaths. The Leader and Deputy Leaders of Winchester City Council, Cllrs Stephen Godfrey and Victoria Weston, and Chief Executive Simon Eden also attended and spoke to parishioners and representatives from the Royal Navy in a short reception hosted by Greens Wine Bar following the event.

Speaking at the event, Cllr Angela Clear, Mayor of Winchester and Chair of Wickham Parish Council, said:

We are here because our society does care - we do remember those who sacrificed their lives, we remember those serving in the armed forces on behalf of their countries, the loved ones they leave behind and also those who are forced to leave their homes and undertake dangerous journeys, becoming refugees.

Today we are gathered around an artwork which was created as a tribute to one global conflict, sadly a second would follow. Today, at a time when the effect of war upon families is brought home to us by the images of refugees fleeing their war-torn homelands, we are here to reflect on the realities of all wars then and now.

Andy Ramus, Managing Director of AR Design Ltd, added:

This was a moving event and the warmth of the welcome from the community in Wickham shows what a fitting site the village is for this stage of Box 459’s journey. Talking to the people in the crowd who left their homes and businesses at nightfall, you do get a sense that our community really does appreciate opportunities to gather together and reflect upon the impacts of all wars, both past and present.