Pity of War is a charity to raise awareness of the impact of war on civilians.
We aim to reach this goal in two ways:
1. We have funded a memorial statue in the National Memorial Arboretum, commissioned from the sculptor Peter Walker. The full-size bronze has now been cast and the plinth is currently being installed. We hope the memorial will be complete and ready for the formal opening early in 2024.
2. Then, the more important part of the project can start. We plan to find and host resources to help educate people, especially young people, about the impact of war on civilians. Sadly, there are currently in the media all too many examples around the world of civilians being killed or suffering from the impact of wars.
A Shropshire Quaker, Joyce Gee, lived through the Blitz as a young girl. Aged thirteen, she wrote of her experiences. This included the house next door but one sustaining a direct hit. The blast killed the two people who lived there.
As a much older person, she visited the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire. She reflected that there were many military memorials, but nothing to honour the millions of civilians who had died or suffered, directly or indirectly, as a result of war. She raised a concern with her local Quaker meeting. Things kept growing from there. Joyce died in 2018, knowing that the NMA had accepted our application for a memorial and having seen the maquette (i.e. miniature model) of the statue.
This charitable trust has no religious or political affiliations, and we set it up in 2019 to achieve Joyce’s vision. People from many walks of life have found it reflects their feelings.
‘Is it only through suffering that men begin to question the ways of war and peace?’ Joyce Gee
Jeff Beatty, Kit Byatt and Linda Murray Hale, trustees.
Find a model near you…
There is a maquette (bronze model replica) on display in Hereford Cathedral until 15 November. For more details, click here. Please look on the ‘The sculpture‘ page to see a list of the maquettes on permanent display at seven sites around the UK, and world! Here’s a video of a maquette (model) of the sculpture, and a reflection about its meaning by Dr Johan van Parys, Director of Liturgy and the Sacred Arts at the Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis.