“Down The Quiet Road” (Road of Remembrance, Folkestone)
As part of the commemoration of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in 2014, the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust commissioned a series of plaques, engraved with lines from a poem by Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy, and attached to a wall behind the flower bed on Folkestone’s Road of Remembrance. The flower bed itself was planted with rosemary bushes, reflecting the close association of the shrub with remembrance over thousands of years, and continues to be carefully tended by a team of volunteers.
Designed by lettering sculptor Gary Breeze and carved on to York sandstone, the installation quotes lines from the poem “An Unseen”, written in response to “The Send-Off by Wilfred Owen. Duffy’s poem tells the story from the standpoint of a wife, mother or sweetheart of a soldier leaving to fight in war, and walking into the distance. The verse reads:
DOWN THE QUIET ROAD, AWAY, AWAY, TOWARDS
THE DYING TIME,
LOVE WENT, BRAVE SOLDIER, THE SONG DWINDLING;
WALKED TO THE EDGE OF ABSENCE; ALL MOMENTS GOING,
GONE; BELLS THROUGH RAIN
TO FALL ON THE CARVED NAMES OF THE LOST.