The CWGC Centenary Garden is designed as a place to contemplate the enormous price that was paid for our freedom in the First and Second World Wars. With that in mind, I created a place right in the heart of the garden to sit in quiet reflection for a few moments, minutes, or hours.
As with the rest of the garden, it was important to me to bring in the incredible craftsmanship of the CWGC that they use at their cemeteries and memorials across the globe, so I commissioned a round bench from their carpenters and stonemasons that would form the centrepiece of the entire design.
The stonemasons in Belgium used the same engraving technique to engrave the crest as they do on most of the 1.1 million CWGC headstones around the world.
A round base of Portland Stone follows the circular theme that runs throughout the garden.
Atop that base is a seat carved from 100-year-old oak by the Commission’s carpenters.
And set into that beautiful old wood, at the true axis of the garden, sits the CWGC crest, engraved in Portland Stone.
The craftsmanship and dedication of the CWGC workers is incredible to watch, and this garden is a great homage to their work. My hope is that those that visit the CWGC Centenary Garden will gain the same respect for that work that I have.