Written by Michael G. Brown


new sculpture ‘Harry’

The sculpture was inspired by an iconic image of Harry patch at his last cenotaph visit. I had originally stumbled across this image in a magazine article on the legacy of WW1. Moved and also intrigued, I decided I should create a sculpture dedicated to this man who fought all of the Great War and was dubbed ‘the last fighting Tommy’.

My idea for the marquetry stemmed from an artist inspiration of mine, Wyndham Lewis, who himself was a War artist. It was also the profession of my Great Grandfather, whose sons fought in the Second World War. Wyndham Lewis’s style was almost fragmented, based loosely on industrialisation, whereas my Great Grandfather’s marquetry was very fragile and of extraordinary craftsmanship. Marquetry, I believe is very beautiful to look at and I wanted to combine the two styles.

I have purposely tilted the feet of the sculpture and specifically chiselled the stone to accommodate and support the sculpture when standing. Originally the photograph stemmed from the image of Harry Patch sitting in his wheel chair however, I wanted to depict him standing with the support of a War memorial-like plinth.

I specifically designed Harry Patch to be standing in a field of poppies, conveying the effects the War had on the rest of his life and also as a tribute to his fallen comrades; he certainly wouldn’t have lived on after the war, if it wasn’t for those friends he held most dear to him, fighting alongside him and paying the upmost sacrifice.


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‘Harry’ 2014 Crank Clay, Portland Stone and Marquetry (Private Collection)