Artist’s remembrance tribute to support ex-services in need

Limited edition artwork available at Birmingham galleries.

British artist Nic Joly has raised £45,400.00 for The Royal British Legion through sales of Never Forgotten – a signed limited edition miniature sculpture released to commemorate the Word War I 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.

Of these, 454 editions have been sold in the year since its release. The sculptures are available to buy at Castle Fine Art in the International Convention Centre and The Mailbox, with £100 from each sale being donated to the biggest Armed Forces charity, to help the artist reach his goal of raising £150,000 for the Legion.

Each piece is expertly crafted by Joly, 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.

People are purchasing the piece for deeply personal reason, including a lady who bought the sculpture as an engagement present for her fiancé wounded in Afghanistan and an ex-Serviceman who remembers his fallen comrades when he looks at the piece.

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.”

Last year, the original Never Forgotten sculpture was auctioned off to raise funds for veteran’s charities, raising £7,500 for ex-Marines in need of support. This year sees the artist donate his own Never Forgotten sculpture which will be go up for auction at the Legion’s annual Poppy Ball. This Poppy Appeal, Joly will also attend the Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall as a guest of the Legion, as sales of Never Forgotten continue to help veterans, past and present, and their family members.

Beth McCarthy, Gallery Director for Castle Fine Art’s two Birmingham galleries, said: “Each of Nic’s 1,566 pieces may look the same – but they are all unique. With information relating to a specific day in WW1 on the back of each sculpture, each piece is as individual as every day of the war, and every life lost.

“Every piece is painstakingly created by Nic, who crafts every single figure himself ensuring the composition is perfectly balanced and tells the story he intended. Never Forgotten is a beautiful tribute to those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom – we are honoured to be involved in the project.”

Never Forgotten is available to view and buy at Castle Fine Art, ICC, Broad Street, B1 2EA and are priced at £695. £100 from each sale will be donated to The Royal British Legion. For further information please visit: