The Story so far
Over £50,000 raised
Nic Joly has raised over £50,000, so far, for The Royal British Legion through sales of ‘Never Forgotten’ – a signed limited edition miniature sculpture released to commemorate the WWI Centenary.
Drawing on the ultimate symbol of Remembrance and hope, the poppy, the poignant piece was released in July 2014 ahead of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The edition size is 1,566 – representing each day the war was fought – with each individual sculpture labelled on the back with a unique piece of information about that day during the Great War.
Each piece is expertly crafted by Nic, who uses bronze to craft the figures and tissue paper to form the petals of the poppy, with the miniature sculptures standing on a block of white marble. The former furniture maker also hand frames the intricate pieces in his studio in Hampshire. Standing less than two inches high unframed, the tiny sculptures have been making a big impact –they have touched the hearts of people around the world with Joly receiving letters of thanks from as far afield as Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
Joly – who was inspired to begin the ‘Never Forgotten’ project after meeting a 96-year-old Battle of Arnhem veteran – said:
“I have met some wonderful people since the launch of the Never Forgotten project, from WWII veterans to double amputee soldiers from the Afghanistan conflict. Their stories put the world we live in into a crystal clear reality of what is important in life, we can learn so much from these unsung heroes.
“In my own small way, I want this piece to remind us that all those who have given their lives, in conflicts from the First World War until the present day, will be Never Forgotten.
“The Legion is an incredible charity – the sales of this piece will go toward their vital work helping the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in need.”
“I bought this piece out of respect for all the men who sacrificed their lives for the future of mankind.
I never personally knew anyone in the First World War but my father was in the Second World War along with his brothers.
He came from Poland and was in the free Polish Air Force fighting out of Britain and one of his brothers was imprisoned in Auschwitz.
Therefore I think I owe my freedom to all those men and women in both wars and this piece one day will be passed down to one day my daughters and then in turn my granddaughters.
Hopefully it will continue to be passed down for many more years to come.”
“As a recently retired member of the Royal Engineers who has served in most conflicts since 1991 this piece just struck a chord, not just in commemoration of the First World War but also as a visual reminder of colleagues and comrades who are no longer with us.
It now rests where I see it as soon as I walk into my living room which again makes me think of those who never made it home. To me it also symbolises soldiers of today still supporting and respecting those who have fallen in past conflicts by the two figures lifting the poppy in to its rightful vertical position.
The piece really does mean a lot, I just wish I could express how much it means more eloquently.”
Heather, Online Customer
"Never Forgotten will act as a tribute to my grandfather, George Westgarth, who was wounded in the great war. He is just one of the reasons I was touched by this piece."
"This piece will act to remember W.E.O Scott, known as Oscar, killed in action in the battle of the Somme on 29 September 1916 aged 33. As he has no known grave, he is mentioned on The Thiepval Memorial. Prior to enlisting he was a Solicitor in private practice."
"When I first saw this piece it brought to mind my great uncle Jesse Stevenson who was killed in action on 28th December 1916 aged 27 whilst serving with the AIF (Australian Imperial Force). I managed to secure the piece for that date thanks to the staff at Castle Galleries in Solihull and thanks to Nic for personalising the piece with my great uncles details. He will not be forgotten."
"My husband was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 and on seeing your piece I was reminded of his bravery, thank you."