First statue of Midhurst sculptor's 999 cenotaph is unveiled

The first section of a new sculpture at The Cenotaph to honour emergency services has been unveiled this week.

Created by Cocking-based sculptor Philip Jackson the work will feature figures from the fire service, police force, ambulance service, the NHS, RNLI and search and rescue.

The bronze monument will honour the 7,000 frontline emergency service workers who lost their lives in the line of duty and is set to join some of Mr Jackson’s other works in central London.

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He said: “It is all really in aid of fundraising. It is the first figure of six so now Covid is hopefully on the way out we are back to a fundraising drive.”

A maquette of the sculptures set to appear at The Cenotaph

Mr Jackson said the response to the first statue has been ‘very good’ and recalled the moment the subject of his first model unveiled it at his studio in Cocking.

“A nurse who has been in the NHS for 50 years contracted Covid right at the beginning,” he added. “There was a big event when she recovered and she came down and effectively unveiled the first statue.

“She was very emotional about it. She said that she could see the compassion in the eyes and that it was exactly how she had imagined.”

Tom Scholes-Fogg is a police officer who founded the 999 Cenotaph charity to honour the work of emergency services.

The sculptures honour frontline workers during the pandemic

He said: “We unveiled the first figure of the nurse last week and our plan is that we will do a big campaign around the NHS.

“If we raise the rest of the money we can unveil another figure later this year and we are actually planning to take the maquette model on a tour of the country stopping at literally every county.

"Our target is to raise at least £3million and we have raised about £200,000 at the moment.”

To help secure the funding needed to complete the project, 999 Cenotaph has been lobbying and liaising with the Government and raising money through 999 and NHS staff.

Giving his views on the model, Mr Scholes-Fogg said: “It’s incredible. It really sent a shiver down my spine.”

The charity hopes to unveil the full sculpture at The Cenotaph in December, in time for the Queen’s platinum jubilee.