Marsh Awards

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

The winner of the 2010 award is by Peter W. Naylor.

Memorial to 158 Squadron

The memorial, in Corten steel, is sited on the former RAF Lissett Airfield in East Yorkshire. Novera Energy constructed a wind farm on the site that began generating electricity in February 2009 and the memorial was included as an integral part of that development. There are twelve wind turbines, eleven of which are named after bombers that were based at the airfield and the twelfth commemorates six ground crew who died as a result of an explosion in the bomb dump on 2 July 1943.

The memorial itself consists of seven, 8 foot tall figures of airmen made from water-cut 15mm Corten steel. The group extends some 15 feet across. The silhouettes reveal their flying jackets, boots and parachutes. The names of the 851 people who died whilst with 158 Squadron are etched on either side of the figures. The top of the knoll, on which the memorial stands, contains the 7-link chain emblem of 158 Squadron, and the concrete block at the start of the path leading up to the memorial shows their motto, ‘Strength in Unity'. The block also holds inside a visitors' book for comments and is flanked by large information boards about the site and the memorial. The sides of the knoll are covered with English wild flower meadow grass.

The memorial was unveiled on 16 May 2009 by Air Marshal Sir John Curtiss (Ret), Wing Commander Bill Stephenson (Ret), Squadron Leader John Cotter (Ret), Squadron Leader Brian Quinlan (Ret), followed by the dedication by the Most Reverend Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. A large number of 158 Squadron veterans and their families from all corners of the globe were in attendance.

The work was nominated by Dr. Gerardine Mulcahy, Curator (Collections) at Beverley Art Gallery and Curator at Burton Constable Hall. In her nomination, Dr. Mulcahy describes the work as combining ‘monumentality with intimacy'. She goes on to say that, ‘It is an effective public and communal statement that succeeds in providing the beholder with a deeply personal experience – ideal for a public monument that commemorates lives lost in war'. This piece is a worthy and perhaps appropriate winner in this year of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

To read more about the artist, Peter W. Naylor, visit his website www.peternaylor.co.uk and to learn more about Lissett Airfield and 158 Squadron visit www.158squadron.co.uk



Peter Naylor Marsh Award winner
Peter Naylor receives the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2010 from HRH The Duke of Gloucester.