“THE HAND OF PEACE” 1998 – 1999

Hand of Peace

This sculpture was commissioned to emphasise an existing commemorative stone on a war memorial site in Barnard’s Green, which was neglected and regularly vandalised. Rose Garrard researched and developed the designs in consultation with elderly members of the local British Legion and in workshops with teenagers at the nearby Malvern Youth Centre.  At first a conventional bronze soldier was muted by the Legion although they felt this might soon be overlooked, but as ideas developed the teenagers suggested that whilst remembering the war dead, the emphasis should be on celebrating peace.

Hand of Peace

The three metre high “Hand of Peace” was inspired by memories, photos and memorabilia kept by the old soldiers, some the grandparents of the teenagers; - the poignant hands of the youthful dead in images of 20th century battlefields, and the flight of the three chrome-plated doves of peace, suggested by a picture of fighting Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. Carved across the palm of the hand are four very appropriate lines taken from a poem ‘Silence’, found in a 1946 leaflet of the first Commemoration Service for the dead after the Second World War, kept by one British Legion member.

“In glorious hope our sorrowing land, commits her children to thy peaceful hand."

Rose’s drawing and scale model of ‘The Hand of Peace’ was endorsed by the Legion and then selected from her four initial design ideas by the Council Steering Committee.

The hand was carved from a huge block of Portland stone weighing 15 tonns by Rose, assisted by stonemason Darren - and took over four months to complete.  Portland stone has traditionally been used for many of the Allied Forces gravestones in Britain and Europe.