One Hundred Years of Remembrance
Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Glen Art Gardening Scotland
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), veterans’ charity, Glen Art and the Wilfred Owen Association have teamed up to create an incredibly poignant garden at this year’s Gardening Scotland to commemorate the CWGC’s centenary and that of Wilfred Owen’s stay at Craiglockhart in Edinburgh in 1917.
The ‘One Hundred Years of Remembrance’ garden is a first for the CWGC at the Gardening Scotland show was designed by the Commission’s very own Gardener Caretaker First Class, Robert Ross will be built and created by veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Glen Art.
Created by veterans of today, it commemorates the centenary of the CWGC which has practiced high quality horticulture around the world since 1917 and the centenary of the four months Wilfred Owen, poet of the Great War spent in Edinburgh from June 1917.
The garden will encapsulate the heart of the Commission and what it stands for – remembering the 1.7million Commonwealth service men and women who lost their lives during both World Wars, across more than 150 countries.
In Scotland alone, the CWGC cares for more than 20,000 graves and memorials in more than 12,000 locations.
The special garden will feature a fantastic bust of Wilfred Owen, created by award-winning sculptor Anthony Padgett. The plants will be the same as those used by the CWGC, which is the largest horticultural organisation in the world, along with a large stone statue from one of the Commission’s naval memorials.
Robert Ross, from CWGC who designed the garden and is also a member of the Royal Scottish Horticultural Association, said: “When I was asked to design this garden, my thoughts immediately turned to the rich gardening heritage of the Commission and the way our planting has evolved over time.
“From the large, flowering plants advocated by Gertrude Jekyll nearly a century ago, our signature style has evolved into the more regimented yet equally beautiful turf-framed planting schemes in our cemeteries today.
“I sought to bring together these two eras that speak of the formal structure of our cemeteries abroad, with the Luytens-designed bench providing a place for rest and contemplation.
“The sculpture of the unnamed serviceman and the bust of Wilfred Owen represent both those many thousands who lie with their names unknown to us, and those whose stories continue to be told to this day.”
“This is my fifth year of service with the CWGC and it’s an honour to be able to care for the resting places of those who gave their lives for their country. In this the commission’s centenary year, I hope that the garden will bring greater awareness of the work of the CWGC, especially here in Scotland where we commemorate around 21,000 service men and women.”
Fiona MacDonald, Director Glen Art, added: “Glen Art supports veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and we couldn’t be prouder of them and the beautiful show gardens they create each year at Gardening Scotland.
“This year, working with the CWGC and Wilfred Owen Association makes this centenary year particularly important, as veterans of today commemorate those who served in the Great War, including the Great War poet Wilfred Owen.”
A spokesperson for the Wilfred Owen Association, said: “The Wilfred Owen Association is delighted to have an opportunity to commemorate Owen’s time in Edinburgh, where he was sent to recover from shell -shock in 1917.
“It’s particularly apt that the garden is being created by current veterans who are also coping with shell shock, known today as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“We’re hugely honoured that the award winning sculptor Anthony Padgett has contributed a bust of Wilfred Owen to the One Hundred Years of Remembrance Garden, and to be working with the CWGC, whose work around the world includes the grave of Wilfred Owen in France, where he was killed, a year to the day of his departure from Edinburgh on November 4th 1917.”
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