... a memorial art installation, Ipswich School

Ipswich School has its own chapel clearly visible on the Henley Road facing elevations of the school. Within the School Chapel is a war memorial engraved with the names of the (then) seventy-one former pupils of the school who lost their lives in The Great War.

The school felt it appropriate to mark the centenary of the end of conflict in a way that involved every current pupil at the school. It was decided to produce over 800 Remembrance Doves to be displayed on a line that stretches from the Remembrance Tree (planted in 2014) through into the School Chapel, past the war memorial and throughout the chapel nave at ceiling height. It is a wonderful memorial artwork.

Every pupil in the school has handwritten the name of a person who was killed or served in The Great War on to a ceramic dove. In some cases they are the names of a family member or friend. Others are names appearing on pupils’ local war memorials. All the doves were handcrafted by the school’s Art Department.

To support the artwork a booklet has been designed and produced by the school with much of its design and content reflecting the work of pupils at the school. A table within the booklet provides brief details of individual pupils who died within the conflict. It was recently discovered that a seventy-second former pupil, Stuart Nicolson Evans, had lost his life during the war and his name has now been added to the memorial in the School Chapel. The booklet provides information on the Headmaster at the time, Arthur Kenelm Watson, and an account of his and the school’s work in support of the war. Poignantly, it tells of his responsibility to break the news to pupils that their relatives had been killed.

Other accounts told in the booklet include the story of the school football team and the loss of five of their number who went to war as young men never to return. Copies of this booklet are available to members of the public. Anyone interested is asked to attend the school reception on Henley Road in person to collect a copy. The artwork will probably remain in place until later in the spring. The School Chapel was opened on Armistice Day and over 1,000 people are reported to have queued patiently to view the artwork.

Graham Smith

See below for our back page photograph (by Julian Warren) of a large part of the installation in Ipswich School Chapel. 

November 2018: a flock of ceramic doves flies from Ipswich School’s Remembrance Tree seemingly through the School Chapel window and then continues inside towards the Great War memorial and beyond.