Local blacksmith to design Belguim monument

The design has been chosen to represent Africa’s part in the Great War.

Paul will head a team of international blacksmiths to create the panel during the event.

In September 2016 a striking new World War 1 cenotaph will be created in Ypres, Belgium.

The cenotaph for the 21st century will be a striking, yet simple 7 m tall metal slab of weathering steel weighing 12 tons, featuring the evocative image of a single Flanders poppy.

At its base will be “planted” a field of 2016 steel poppies handcrafted by blacksmiths and farriers worldwide.

Surrounding the poppies and main structure will be 25 panels designed by international blacksmiths referencing thoughts of the war and echoing the trenches.

Hundreds of blacksmiths and farriers from around the world will come together to create the Cenotaph in one week, and once completed it will be installed adjacent to the German War Cemetery in Langemark-Poelkapelle, visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

In the War of 1914-18 blacksmiths and farriers were indispensable in sustaining the war effort of both sides.

An estimated 3 000 of these craftsmen played an essential role in supporting the war effort, repairing and maintaining equipment to shoeing millions of horses. Their contribution is perhaps little known.

The six-day event will bring together smiths from the many countries which fought on both sides in the First World War, to create the Cenotaph in remembrance of those who played their part.

The event will demonstrate the craft of blacksmithing and farriery, include live shoeing demonstrations, children’s forging area, lectures and an exhibition.

The beautifully crafted poppies can be sponsored and are also available to buy, and a crowdfunding campaign will run to support the project at www.Ypres2016.com

It’s a perfect example of the craftsmen and women of today using their craft to commemorate the skill and sacrifices of our forefathers.

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