Path to Peace: Powerful artwork featuring fingerprints of 150 veterans, presented to Sussex Hospital

  • ITV Meridian has been speaking to artist, Kirsty Chapman; Lt Col Ben Caesar, Orthopedic Surgeon and founder of The Chavasse Clinic, and a number of veterans who have been involved in the project.

An artist from East Grinstead in Sussex has created a powerful painting using the fingerprints of more than 150 veterans and their relatives.

'Path to Peace' has taken 2 years to create.

The painting shows the image of two servicemen supporting each other and walking along a path of poppies. Each poppy fingerprint represents the unique and individual mark each Serviceman, Woman, and Veteran makes upon history.

Sir Archibald McIndoe, seen here in glasses, alongside members of 'The Guinea Pig Club'. Credit: The McIndoe Centre, Queen Victoria Hospital

Artist, Kirsty Chapman said: "My inspiration came from my Grandmother Anna, who used to work alongside Sir Archibald McIndoe at the Queen Victoria Hospital Burns Unit.

"She helped to cook all of the food for the surgeons and used to tell me stories of the things the military patients used to get up to on the wards.

"She told me never to forget them."

"My Great Grandfather was a Rifleman in the Royal Ulster Rifles, who sadly died just before the end of the war.

"My art is for all of those who never came home."

Among the veterans who took part are:

  • Paul Grief - Former member of the King's Royal Hussars

  • Stephen Fradley  - Former Officer and member of the Royal British Army Reserves.

  • Matthew Barnes - Former member of Queens Regiment, 3rd Battalion

The artwork has been presented to the Chavasse clinic in Brighton by the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, Andrew Blackman.

The clinic based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital treats veterans and service personnel for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries and is run by Lt Col Benjamin Caesar.

Lt Col Caesar was inspired to start the clinic in 2016 after he met a veteran who had been waiting 18 months to be seen at an NHS pain clinic and was unable to walk.

He says it's important there is a dedicated clinic for serving military personnel and veterans. The Chavasse Clinic is one of only two of its kind in the country.

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