33rd Royal Engineers EOD Unit (Army Bomb Disposal) Commemorative Sculpture
In 2006 we were commissioned by RSM Owen Holmes of the 33rd Royal Engineers EOD Unit (Army Bomb Disposal) to develop a scheme for the first commemorative sculpture / memorial in the UK. This was to commemorate 634 personnel who have lost their lives since the end of the second world war. The brief was that the figure represented in the carving would not represent a particular rank or race and not have any distinctive clothing that would indicate status. We drew up a design and completed a carving that has a ‘generic’ and timeless figure poised at the most dangerous point of defusing a 1,000 bomb with only the smallest of gaps between the figure and the bomb.
The process we followed involved 3 stages of consultation with meetings of the Royal Engineers to approve initial drawings, a quarter scale maquette made in clay cast to plaster, and the final scaling of the design onto the stone measuring 3mtrs x 1.1mtrs x 0.3mtrs. We installed the sculpture at the EOD Headquarters at Carver Barracks, Wimbish Nr Saffron Walden, Essex and spent 2 days carving on site to make final adjustments re changes in natural light and shadow, plus adding finer detail.
As part of the landscaping there were also two carved regimental insignia / badges (not shown in photographs) carved by Phil Docherty and mounted on either side of a newly built curved wall in which the sculpture is set. There was a service and parade to dedicate the commemorative sculpture on 10th November 2006, attended by 1,000 troops and 500 members of the public including many EOD Unit veterans.