West Sussex preview for new National Emergency Services Memorial

Philip Jackson: National Emergency Services MemorialPhilip Jackson: National Emergency Services Memorial
Philip Jackson: National Emergency Services Memorial
Chichester gets a chance to see the maquette (model) for the new National Emergency Services Memorial as part of the new exhibition at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery by the internationally-renowned Cocking-based sculptor Philip Jackson.

The exhibition runs from October 13-November 1.

The piece, which will stand in a central London location, will comprise six figures eight foot tall (roughly one and a half times life size).

The National Emergency Services Memorial was founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg in the autumn of 2016 and is managed by a board of trustees and a team of volunteer ambassadors.

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They are now raising at least £3 million to build what they are calling the UK’s first 999 Cenotaph. They commissioned Philip to create it as a “national symbol of gratitude, sacrifice and remembrance.”

Chichester now gets the chance to see the maquette for the first time as part of a gallery exhibition.

The piece features a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic, a doctor/nurse, a maritime figure (to represent HM Coastguard and the lifeboats) and a search and rescue volunteer (to represent mountain, lowland, cave and mine rescue).

The NHS figure is wearing scrubs while all other figures are wearing the uniform they would wear when responding to a 999 call.

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“This was something I was asked to do a couple of years ago, and I have now done the maquette.

“The design has been approved.

“We were just about to go into the major fund-raising when the pandemic hit. It became impossible to get all the movers and shakers together in one venue, and we are now having to think of different ways.

“But the monument has now grown a little. We have now included the NHS worker – six figures now on a five-sided base. Obviously, strangely, it has become very topical now. I started it before the pandemic, but now the pandemic has come, everybody is getting very focused on the emergency services. In a way, it is the right memorial at the right time. There are a couple of (central London) sites being negotiated for it at the moment.

“The chap whose brainchild it is is a serving police officer. He felt that the emergency services didn’t get the recognition they deserve. Over the years, the emergency services have lost something like 7,000 people from the line of duty, and there is nothing to commemorate that.

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“This was his idea – to build a memorial to the people who have given their lives and to raise the profile of the services.

“What he felt was that on several major occasions during the year the nation salutes the armed services. There is nothing equivalent for the emergency services.”

Considered Britain’s greatest living figurative sculptor, Philip is well known for his major outdoor pieces such as Bobby Moore and Sir Alf Ramsey at Wembley Stadium, the equestrian sculpture of the Queen riding in Windsor Great Park and the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in London’s Green Park.

Exhibition entry is free, with donations going to the Oxmarket’s Refresh campaign. The sculptures are available for sale.

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Oxmarket chairman Sophie Hull said: “It is a huge honour for the Oxmarket to host and exhibit Philip Jackson’s fabulous work.

“We have a truly wide range of works here ranging in size from 180cms to over two metres.”

“His research and attention to detail cannot be surpassed.Philip has a passion for art for the young and is a strong supporter of art in the community.”

Philip’s notable public commissions include: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Belgravia, London, Falklands War Sculpture – Portsmouth, Liberation Sculpture – Jersey, Channel Islands, Sir Matt Busby – Old Trafford, Manchester, Empress Elisabeth of Austria – Geneva, Switzerland, St Richard – Chichester Cathedral, Constantine the Great – York Minster, King George VI – Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, The Gurkha Monument – Horse Guards Avenue, London, 1966 World Cup Sculpture – Newham, London, Queen Elizabeth II – Windsor Great Park, Bobby Moore and Sir Alf Ramsey – Wembley Stadium, London, United Trinity – Old Trafford, Manchester, Sir Alex Ferguson – Old Trafford, Manchester, Peter Osgood – Stamford Bridge, Fulham, Korean War Memorial, Victoria Embankment, London, Mahatma Gandhi, Parliament Square, London, Constantine the Great, York, RAF Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park, London.