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Horrors of the war turned into positive pieces for the World War 1 Trail

PUBLISHED: 12:16 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16 19 October 2018

The abject horrors and images of the First World War have been the inspiration behind a textile artist’s work for the World War 1 Trail, in Bury St Edmunds, which is just week’s away from ending.

As people continue to walk the imaginative trail Heidi McEvoy-Swift described how during her research she came across dreadful stories and evidence of the unimaginable pain and suffering of the soldiers during the 1914-18 conflict.

And she has turned them into two positive pieces named “Peace” and “Casualty Dog” in a bid to commemorate and remember the lost souls from the war.

The trail, which is being sponsored by Bury St Edmunds’ company Treatt, is being organised by My WiSH Charity and Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement district in the town, and runs until Armistice Day, on November 11.

There will then be an auction for all of the 18 pieces with funds going to the charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal which is aiming to raise £500,000 for a new cardiac diagnostic centre at the West Suffolk Hospital.

“Peace”, which is located in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, features 11 patchwork-created, soft, silent bells to celebrate and commem-orate the end of the conflict and the beginning of peace.

Individually they represent Brotherhood, Sea, Field, Gas, Mud, Blood, Bloom, Dawn, Joy, Glory and Home with each bearing a fragment of a World War 1 poem or song.

Heidi said: “Reading so much World War 1 poetry and researching the war has been both enlightening, and very, very sad. I am glad to be working on a piece that celebrates the end of the war, while allowing the poetry to speak of those four gruelling years.”

It is sponsored by clothing store Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing while “Casualty Dog” which is situated in the Greene King Beer Café, is sponsored by the brewery.

Casualty dogs were trained to seek out the wounded on the battlefield.

They were equipped with emergency medical aid for those who were able to access it and they alerted medics to the presence of a wounded man.

“Other dogs were trained to seek out the mortally wounded and remain with them as a comforting companion to the end and other dogs worked as sentries, messengers, ratters, mascots and some even laid wires and cables or carried explosives,” added Heidi.

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