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The Pity of War – Memorial Sculpture and Educational Resource

Pity of War maquette in the Basilica of St Mary by Peter Walker Sculptor

Pity of War – The so often untold, and unheard, story

“If half the people killed by wars are civilians, shouldn’t half the war memorials be to civilians?   This is a hugely welcome initiative which should serve as a powerful reminder of the terrible costs of war to civilians. The old saying ‘If war is the answer, it must be a very stupid question’ has never been truer than now.” Paul Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford.

City of Sanctuary is pleased to support this significant #SancturyinArts initiative which also fall into our Schools and Faiths stream of work .

The Pity of War Charity has for a number of years been working to bring awareness to the unknown, nameless and voiceless civilians affected by war and conflict. Its core aim is to raise awareness of the impact of war on civilians, through the creation of a memorial as well as further outreach in the form of an educational programme both in the UK and abroad. The memorial itself will be in the form of a 6ft bronze sculpture by sculptor Peter Walker and sited at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. It will stand alongside the many military memorials to remember the millions for whom there will never be a memorial, never be a tribute and whose names are forgotten. It will stand as a symbol of our collective desire for peace.

Over the last 24 months the project has expanded internationally.

“It is essential that the underlying message of Pity of War reaches far beyond the memorial itself. And so over the past few years we have been working on outreach and partnership abroad. It is therefore notable that two bronze maquettes (smaller scale models of the memorial) are now in the collections of the British Embassy in the UAE and British Embassy in Paris where they will be permanently displayed and seen by world leaders and signatories for years to come, a powerful symbol and testament to those to whom this project is dedicated” said Kit Byatt, Chair of Trustees.

In addition, a maquette is now also in the collections of the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis, a city which has seen such trauma and division over the past 12 months, with the death of George Floyd.

Maquettes are also in the public collections of the University Church in Oxford and Chester Cathedral, with a further 7 maquettes to be presented permanently in other public venues in the near future, including Liverpool Cathedral and Sheffield Cathedral.

The reach and presentation of the Pity of War Maquette in the UK and internationally pays testament to a new way of working in which a memorial is more than a fixed point.  Through the placement of these maquettes people in different countries and locations around the UK will be able to connect with the Charity’s message and for a moment reflect on the sufferings of millions of civilians in conflicts today and through the past 100 years” Said Jeff Beaty, Trustee.

In addition, the Pity of War project has been busy developing outreach for schools and communities across the country and is providing a free educational resource pack with age-appropriate activities to raise awareness of the physical, psychological, social, educational, economic and cultural effects of war upon the civilian population. Email [email protected] to request a free pack. 

This will sit alongside the desire to collect stories from those who have been affected by conflicts past and present, gathering thoughts from those who survived war and conflict and those who recall the Blitz to Syrian refugees fleeing their homes today.

Pity of War Maquette at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis by Peter Walker Sculptor

Fundraising is underway and people can donate to the project via JustGiving

Furthermore, there is the opportunity to have the name of a loved one put on a plaque at the base of the final sculpture in the name of peace.  Click here to donate a name. 


Twitter: @pityofwarstatue

Facebook: @Pityofwarstatue

Contact: Kit Byatt (chair of trustees) via [email protected]