15 June 2017

Poppies: Wave volunteers

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is calling on local people to become volunteers at Poppies: Wave, which will open at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial in August.


The sculpture by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper is specially presented by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts organisation for the First World War centenary, and volunteers are needed to help visitors make the most of their experience.

The CWGC is looking for people aged 16+ to help out from 23 August to 19 November 2017. To register your interest in volunteering, please email the team: volunteers@cwgc.org.

There will also be an open day for those interested in helping on 21 June at The Council House, Plymouth, from 10am to 2pm, where those who have registered or who want to find out more, can come along and talk to CWGC staff.

Working with a great team, in a primarily outdoor role, volunteers will welcome visitors to the CWGC site, and help to enhance the public's visitor experience.

Volunteers will be on hand to help visitors find their way around the town and direct them to the sculpture on the Hoe.

Full induction and training will be given and the skills and experience required are:

  • A positive and outgoing personality, with a good sense of humour.
  • Good level of written and spoken English.
  • Well-presented, reliable and personable.
  • Confident in customer-facing environment to ensure effective queue-management.
  • Happy to work outdoors.
  • Ability to work in a team and remain calm under pressure.

Plymouth is a truly unique place to volunteer, and anyone taking part will provide that all-important first impression to visitors and users.  Above all else, you will make sure that every single person who visits the site has a memorable experience and will inspire visitors to come back and visit us time and time again.

Wave and Weeping Window are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HRP Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War.

The two poppy sculptures being presented across the UK, together totaling over 10,000 poppies, have been saved for the nation by the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation, and gifted to 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums. Financial support for the presentations has been received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and fundraising for the presentations is ongoing.

DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14-18 NOW are delighted to partner with DAF on making this historic project a reality. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation.


For more information please contact:

Samantha Daynes, CWGC Media Manager UK, Tel: 07929 237747 or 01628 507102

Email: sam.daynes@cwgc.org

Press enquiries:

Erica Bolton or Lara Delaney, Bolton & Quinn

6 Addison Avenue

London W11 4QR

Tel.: 020 7221 5000

Email: erica@boltonquin.com / lara@boltonquinn.com

Notes for editors:

The CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial

The CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial was built and is maintained by the CWGC to commemorate almost 7,300 servicemen and women of the First World War and almost 16,000 of the Second World War who have no known grave.

After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided.

An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain -- Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth -- should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, with sculpture by Henry Poole. The CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by HRH Prince George on 29 July 1924.

In addition to commemorating seamen of the Royal Navy who sailed from Plymouth, the First World War panels also bear the names of sailors from Australia and South Africa. The governments of the other Commonwealth nations chose to commemorate their dead elsewhere, for the most part on memorials in their home ports. After the Second World War, Canada and New Zealand again chose commemoration at home, but the memorial at Plymouth commemorates sailors from all other parts of the Commonwealth.

The CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial is situated centrally on The Hoe, which looks directly towards Plymouth Sound, and it is accessible at all times. Copies of the Memorial Register are kept at the Tourist Information Office and in the Naval Historical Section at Plymouth Library.

Paul Cummins

Paul Cummins MBE is a ceramic artist, internationally renowned for the installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at HRP Tower of London 2014, as well as many other installations including his work on the Cultural Olympiad in 2012. Locations for previous works include the Houses of Parliament, Chatsworth House, Althorp Estate and Blenheim Palace.

Paul was inspired to produce a ceramic poppy to honour every death in the British forces of the First World War, numbering 888,246.

Tom Piper

Tom Piper MBE was Associate Designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2004 to 2014, and was closely involved in the redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. His theatre credits include over 30 productions for the RSC, including the award-winning History series. Other recent designs include Hamlet, King Lear (Citizens Theatre), Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre and St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn), Tamburlaine (TFANA New York), Pride and Prejudice (Regent's Park Theatre), The King’s Speech (Birmingham Rep and Tour) and Zorro the Musical (West End and world tour). Piper's opera credits include Macbeth and Falstaff (Scottish Opera), Orfeo (ROH and Roundhouse). Tom collaborated with the British Museum and Alan Farlie Architects on the exhibition Shakespeare: Staging the World in 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Tom is a Creative Associate at the Tricycle Theatre.

His many awards include an Olivier Award (costume design) for the Histories series.

14-18 NOW

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It aims to engage as many people as possible with the First World War, exploring how the war has impacted on the society we live in now. 14-18 NOW commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms, inspired by the period 1914-1918.  The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons - the first season centred around 4 August 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), the second is March to November 2016 (anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme) and the last in 2018 (centenary of Armistice Day). 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. 14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.  14-18 NOW has commissioned over 140 artworks to date that have been seen by more than 30 million people.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) commemorates the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. It also holds and updates an extensive and accessible records archive.

The Commission operates in more than 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries.

Get to know the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Read: http://www.cwgc.org/

Follow: https://twitter.com/CWGC

Like: https://www.facebook.com/commonwealthwargravescommission

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuyv7WCJv_NYL04eKG3oyVA

Photo and other credits

Please ensure that all photos, videos and other materials are credited to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or CWGC.

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