St Albans man remembers war dead on Trafalgar plinth

PUBLISHED: 19:59 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 May 2010

Duncan Barron and Poppy Man

Duncan Barron and Poppy Man

LOST war heroes were poignantly commemorated on Sunday when a St Albans man stood for an hour on Trafalgar Square s Fourth Plinth to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Duncan Barron, 40, of Slimmons Drive, performed an interactive remembrance

LOST war heroes were poignantly commemorated on Sunday when a St Albans man stood for an hour on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Duncan Barron, 40, of Slimmons Drive, performed an interactive remembrance on the plinth from 4-5am as part of sculptor Antony Gormley's much-publicised One & Other living monument.

Mr Barron, who works for the University of Northampton, printed his mobile phone number on a banner, inviting webcam viewers to text him the names of family or friends lost in conflict.

For each name received, he added a poppy to a display.

He also played a CD of archived recordings of silences held at the Cenotaph since 1926.

"It was pretty high up there," said Mr Barron. "It was also the middle of the night so the main problem I had was being blinded by the lights.

"I couldn't see a great deal around me but I could make out parts of the crowd and I got a few heckles!"

Inspiration for the tribute came from a series of interviews Mr Barron conducted with World War Two and Korean War veterans as part of his Masters Degree.

"Talking to them had quite a profound impact on me," he continued.

"That they were so willing to talk about their war experiences and feelings on remembrance gave me a connection with them and their stories and cemented in me the importance of continuing to stand alongside them."

Donning medals won by his great grandfather, who died during World War One, Mr Barron was accompanied by 'Poppy Man', the Royal British Legion's life size figure symbolising its welfare work.

Royal British Legion spokesperson, Bethan Herbert, said: "It's great that Duncan has chosen to use his hour of notoriety to highlight the work of the Royal British Legion."

The One & Other project is running for 100 consecutive days, ending on October 14.

It is the latest in a series of temporary works of art to adorn the plinth, which famously lay empty for over 150 years after funds ran out when it was built in 1841.

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