Decorated Iraq war veteran Captain Ibrar Ali, MC, and Captain Harry Parker, who was injured whilst serving in Afghanistan, will be coming to Southwell Minster on Friday 16th May.
They are honorary guests at a special black tie Gala Dinner in the nave of the cathedral, which marks the launch of No Greater Love: Life and Death in the First World War, Southwell Minster’s exhibition commemorating the centenary of the start of The First World War. The exhibition – part of national commemorations – runs from Saturday 17th May until 15th June, and focuses on experiences and memories of the war in Southwell and the environs.
Both men support Walking With The Wounded, a tri-service charity of which Prince Harry is the ‘hands-on’ Patron. Ibrar participated with the Prince in an expedition to the South Pole with other wounded soldiers last December, to raise the profile of wounded service men and women so that more people can understand what they are going through.
While serving, Ibrar (36) was involved in a roadside bomb explosion in 2007 that resulted in the amputation of his right arm as well as injuries to both legs and his left wrist. 26-year-old Captain Harry Parker, serving with B Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles, stepped on an IED – losing his left leg in the explosion, with his right leg subsequently amputated due to an infection.
Captain Parker is an artist and has lent several paintings to the exhibition, and local people have been asked for World War I objects and relics they may have, with requests for any stories attached to them. Contributions include a silver cigarette case that ‘took a bullet’ when Lieut H. I. Hanmer, an R. F. C. pilot in 14 Squadron, was shot at from the ground in Palestine when flying.
Letters – including one sent from a Private Frederick Hipkiss to his mother in July 1916, where he outlines the horrors of the Somme and describes how he has been buried four times and each time dug out by his mates, finally describing his experience ‘this is hell’ – are juxtaposed with postcards, books and posters, alongside larger items such as an Imperial Model 2 ‘Light Tourist’ motorcycle, a rare survivor of the WW1 period on loan from a private collection.
The exhibition, ‘No Greater Love: Life and Death in the First World War’ is open Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays 12.30pm – 5pm.
Free entry to the exhibition is made possible by the generosity of a Nottinghamshire Charitable Trust. The exhibition is additionally supported by The Friends of Southwell Cathedral. A commemorative illustrated catalogue is available for £3.
Further information contact Charles Leggatt on 01636 817283 firstname.lastname@example.org