The Forest of Dean sculptor creating a memorial to the district's war heroes

It will be a proud and moving moment when the giant stone war memorial to a Forest of Dean parish’s fallen is unveiled this summer, created by a businesswoman and acclaimed sculptor from the district.

The names of those who lost their lives in the first and second world wars from the parish of Mitcheldean and Abenhall will be remembered for generations to come yet, thanks to a new sculpture carved in stone from the Forest of Dean.

Caroline Horwood, who founded her Gloucestershire business, Cats Eye Carving, 15 years ago after an apprenticeship at Gloucester Cathedral, is the woman charged with preserving the names.

And this summer 2021, the giant war memorial she has poured her heart into completing is due to be winched into place and officially unveiled in what will be a moving ceremony – and an end to a project that has been an emotional journey for the artist.

Ms Horwood said: ‘I have each name and a biography of each man. I feel like I know them all. Some of them were so young – as young as 16. It breaks your heart.

‘There are 37 names from the First Word War. Sixteen are from the Second World War. It is a reminder that war is also bloody and brutal.

‘This is stone from where these men would have lived and worked. It has natural holes in it which I am leaving. They look like gunshot holes.’

She said carving the stone was proving hard work, with the dust being dangerous to the lungs and eyes – a feat many of the men whose names now adorn the stone may have been familiar with, being from a district then steeped in mining.

When the stone needed to be turned from its First World War side, which bears the legend ‘At the going down of the sun…’, it took Chepstow-based Reidlifting and its crane to do the honours.

Visitors to her studio and shop at Taurus Crafts have been enthralled by the project and its place in history and followed the progress on her social media channels.

Ms Horwood, who fell in love with sculpture and carving while at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, inspired by senior stone mason, Heather Newton – moved to Gloucestershire to take up an apprenticeship at the Cathedral.

Three years after qualifying she went self-employed and has built up a business which today sees her produce everything from house names and numbers to giant commissions and even jewellery.

‘I design and hand carve The Green Man and grotesques, bookends, clocks, carved words and individual letters. I design and make sterling silver and Welsh slate pendants and earrings. All of which can be personalised for a special present,’ she said.

The grand unveiling of the Gloucestershire sculpture is due to take place on Wednesday 15 September 2021 in Mitcheldean, with anyone wanting to attend encouraged to contact the Parish Council.

By Andrew Merrell


Follow SoGlos on LinkedIn and sign-up to the weekly SoGlos business newsletter for the very latest Gloucestershire business news stories.

© SoGlos
Friday 18 June 2021

More news you might like...

Crepes, American pancakes and shakes galore – enjoy a range of sweet and savoury treats at the newest eatery to open at Five Valleys Market in Stroud.

A new creperie opens in Stroud

There’s a new pancake house at Stroud’s Five Valleys Market, serving up flipping delicious sweet and savoury crepes.

Back row player Ruan Ackermann sports the new Gloucester Rugby shirt, designed and produced by long-term partners Oxen and sporting the name of its new main sponsor, BiGDUG.

Gloucester Rugby unveils major new signing

A new headline name has been added to the shirts of Gloucester Rugby for the coming season, making for one of the biggest signings...

In its free summer exhibition, New Brewery Arts in Cirencester is inviting visitors to explore the colourful history of one of Britain’s most distinctive jewellery brands.

New Brewery Arts is celebrating 20 years of Tatty Devine this summer

Colourful British jewellery brand, Tatty Devine, is at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester this summer for an exhibition documenting...

HBD X Factory, a joint venture between UK property developer HBD and international innovation campus developer Factory, is the preferred development partner for the Golden Valley Development.

Multi-million-pound Golden Valley Development contractor has been named

Cheltenham Borough Council has announced its preferred development partner for the £400 million Golden Valley Development with...

For the second year in a row, the Phoenix Festival due to take place in Cirencester over the August bank holiday 2021 has been cancelled. Image © Lesley Andrews.

Phoenix Festival 2021 is cancelled

The Cotswolds’ free music and arts festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row, but hopes to make a return in...

Don’t miss

Unmissable highlights