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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may know my wife is an undertaker.

The are planning to do an honour memorial type display at work to the fallen in World War 1

Central to the display will be a "replica" coffin, possibly a bit like what would have been found on the front line.

Clearly we know that the trenches were much more terrible than most could imagine, and possible most burials were done in a blanket, or less as the war progressed.

I am going to convert the packing crate into something possibly resembling a field built coffin.

I need ideas on what else to add to make the display hit the right note.

We have a knackered WW1 helmet, and a Poppy type Union Jack.

Other ideas and advice appreciated as we want this to be a great memorial and reminder.

This is what I have.



Plan is to reduce it by 30% in height and to invert the planks, so it looks more hand made.
 

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How about including some "trench art" in the display, you know the sort of stuff the guys made from old shell cases.

If she puts a nice sign in the window now, telling the local community that she is going commemorate with a window display
she could ask locals to loan items with local connections and local stories.

I am lending some trench art items and shell cases to local Co-operative Funeralcare for their window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How about including some "trench art" in the display, you know the sort of stuff the guys made from old shell cases.

If she puts a nice sign in the window now, telling the local community that she is going commemorate with a window display
she could ask locals to loan items with local connections and local stories.

I am lending some trench art items and shell cases to local Co-operative Funeralcare for their window.
Great ideas mate.

Nicola just agreed, but said to tell you that would not work, as she works in a Coop Funeralcare branch too, which has to be locked most of the time, with a bell on the front door, as stuff gets lifted all the time.

Today I took the box apart, the reduced the height and length..... serious PITA. But now done.

It is not really what I had envisaged, but once the rest of the decoration is added, like Union Jack, Bible, some clothes etc.

The base was left on, as the shop has a 400mm high window sill. And once decorated that space will be filled up.



Shorter, and less height.



Woodwork side done.



Keep in mind, most of the casualties in the war were buried at a maximum in a blanket or some canvas, wood was in very short supply.

Now the next step is to "age and decorate" the wood.
 

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Grizz
I understand the concern about things being pilfered from the shop, in fact I will have to make sure the things I lend them are secure. Another thought would be to ask locals to submit pictures with a little detail of the person, the picture could be scanned and printed so that the original would be safe. Make sure you post up a picture of the finished display.
Scaf
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Grizz
I understand the concern about things being pilfered from the shop, in fact I will have to make sure the things I lend them are secure. Another thought would be to ask locals to submit pictures with a little detail of the person, the picture could be scanned and printed so that the original would be safe. Make sure you post up a picture of the finished display.
Scaf
Hi mate,

You have made me want to "up my game" as I want her to have the best window, so I need to outdo your friends one. :D

The plan is to use only stuff that is cheap, and easy to replicate, as the pilferers have no conscience, and having original items stolen is not worth the agro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to Sumprat who sent this mess tin, which will be aged a lot and distressed with the help of a candle and possibly some contact glue to make it look used and grubby.



Nicola suffers from insomnia and found 10 sandbags on Ebay (I assume) at 03.00 this morning.
So she will collect all the shredding at work to fill them and use as part of the display.

My plan to get some rusty barbed wire from the local farmer crashed and burned, as all the barbed wire, even on their scrap metal pile was galvanized, so the search continues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did find an old paraffin lantern that will be added to the display.

Plan is to go set up the window this weekend.

Unfortunately, it has to conform to corporate policy etc.

 

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Get the galvanised barbed wire and put it in a fire/bonfire, if you got one a chimnea would be ideal, after its been burned the galvanising will come off or at least be covered in soot and debry so should look the part

I would also muddy the coffin around the bottom, if used it would have been set down in the mud whilst filled and have mud splatered on it (probably!)

Also ahat about printing out an old newspaper, tatty and read over and over again, or even really scruffy letters and pictures

Other than a dead rat I am out of ideas

Hope it helps

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good ideas Paul.

Interestingly though, due to Health and Safety the barbed wire was banned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Took the box down to the shop this afternoon after work and helped Nicola do the basic set up.

Some fine tuning to be done.



Outside view..... (yes, the building needs a load o attention)

Size of display is limited by the size of the building and reception area.



Sister in Law Margaret sat and crocheted 60 poppies as well to help with the decoration.



Some finer details to be added, but I am pleased and impressed with how it has turned out.

I suspect some of the branches will not make the same effort, and wait to see what others have done.

"LEST WE FORGET"

Thank you to everyone who commented and helped with advice and additions to the display.

Unfortunately, barbed wire and other "dangerous" objects were banned, in case someone hurts themselves.
 

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looks great and perfect for the type used to repatriate the fallen , unfortunatly the the fallen that did not come home did not get the same , and if available a sheet as a shroud , as also happened in WW11 in some areas , some thing that should never be for gotten the glorious fallen who gave there all for us to be free God bless them all
 

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That looks absolutely fantastic and a fitting way to help remember those who gave their lives in the front line........
You and your good lady should be congratulated for making such an effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you guys.

Seems most people get it. One "lovely chap" on UKGSER did not get it. And managed to stall the thread with a hugely negative reply. But eveywhere else people appreciate it.

Whats nice is that Nicola's manager shared it with her regional manager who shared it with the zonal manager and they all were blown away that she made the effort.
She was also approached by "Funeral Service Times" an industry publication for August to write up a short article and submit photos to go with it. She was shocked but I was really pleased that someone saw fit to escalate her efforts.

Too many people these days are too lazy and cannot be arsed to make an effort.
Its always easier to break down than build up or go the extra mile.

Thanks for all the support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thought I would just update this a bit.

Nicola got emails from three levels of management about the display after setting it up last week.

Yesterday she actually called me (rarely does from work) and said that the national director had called to thank her for making the effort and putting up the display.

Now we are thinking of things to use for the next big thing, which is the Macmillan Cancer Charity Coffee Morning.

Last year, with her effort they did well, now of course with this display, the game has been upped a notch or two.

So we are thinking around having load of random old clocks suspended in the front window, as well as maybe some window dressing backdrops from shops that may have used clocks in their display before...... guess I will be knocking on doors, or maybe if I can fins some wallpaper with clocks on, I can make some panels to use as backdrops.

Anyone with old clocks, whatever the description, to donate toward this next display, let me know by PM please.
 

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Rian,

Only just read the thread as not been online for a bit - please pass my congratulations on to Nicola - Outstanding job!!! Only right that she should get appropriate recognition for her efforts! And a huge WELL DONE to yourself for supporting her (as ever). I'm always intrigued and fascinated by the stuff you get up to; brilliantly creative mate...

BTW, might have a line on an 'interesting' transaxle/g'box setup for the buggy...

Cheers, E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Euan. It just takes a moment to do stuff like this but the impression can last a lifetime.

My father in law called earlier to say that the display and Nicola's name was featured in a local newspaper today.
She was also asked by two funeral trade magazines to do a write up about Chatham's contribution to WW1 and to submit some high resolution photos for publication in the August and September issues.
I am glad many people are "getting it"
 
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