On Thursday 17 May we held a reception to view the public display of The Unremembered wreaths and celebrate with the many community groups who made them. The event was generously hosted and supported by the National Army Museum (NAM).
The reception gave everyone the opportunity to view the many creative wreaths on display and read about what inspired each group to make them. A number of community groups that made Unremembered wreaths attended the event including Age UK Islington, West Riding Ruggers, Black Heritage Group and Hackney Mosaic Group.
During the evening there were performances, speeches and an art demonstration. Ashish Patel from William Ellis school in Camden had a popular stall at the event to demonstrate how to make the lotus flowers he made with his school for their Unremembered wreath. There were speeches made by Ian Maine, Assistant Director (Collections) at NAM and Virginia Crompton, Chief Executive Officer at Big Ideas. Virginia spoke about The Unremembered project and thanked the community groups for their amazing contributions.
There were two performances during the evening. One was by South African poet Thembe Mvula who recited two spoken word pieces both written by her — Home and An open letter to the Unremembered (we will remember you), which was written especially for the event and for The Unremembered. There was a fantastic performance by Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club who spoke, sang and danced their way through a set that included a song to say farewell to Maori troops leaving for World War One.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the reception and all of the groups who made wreaths for The Unremembered Wreath Challenge. Thank you to the High Commission of India for funding the wreath display. The Unremembered is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and is now UK-wide thanks to a National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
Find out what’s next for The Unremembered and how your group could contribute towards a resource pack with a unique focus on the experiences of people sidelined in history by researching British men and women who served as Labour Corps in the First World War. Read more in our news article.