A classical sculpture of the UK’s first triple amputee from the Afghanistan War and Invictus Games champion Mark Ormrod is currently touring corporate buildings in London before culminating in an auction to raise thousands of pounds for military charities, The Royal Marines Charity and Blesma, the Limbless Veterans.
“Undefeated” has been created by international sculptor Ben Dearnley, who approached Mark in 2016 about the project, to help raise funds for the two main charities who have helped Mark and many other returning wounded ex-Service men and women throughout their recovery process.
The sculpture, which is a torso of Mark’s body and made from Carrara marble with inset lead lettering, will tour several corporate lobbies including Barclays, Aviva and HSBC, before it is finally auctioned at The Royal Marines Charity Commando Dinner, which is to be held at Guildhall, London on 20th November 2018, to raise further funds for both charities.
“I’m not arty, but when Ben explained more about the project and how we would auction it off at the end, I thought it was the perfect project,” said Mark, 35, from Plymouth, who was badly wounded whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2007.
“Ben explained that the grey going through the marble torso is to represent shrapnel that had torn through my body and I liked the way that rather than stencil on the Royal Marine tattoo, he beveled into the granite and then melted led into it. It all symbolises things that I had never thought of and I think it’s awesome.”
In the early hours of Christmas Eve 2007, Royal Marines Commando Mark was out on a routine foot patrol in the Helmand Province when he stepped on and triggered an improvised explosive device. Mark lost both his legs above the knee and his right arm above the elbow. He was the UK’s first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict.
Mark was told by doctors that he’d never walk again and that he should prepare himself for the rest of his life in a wheelchair. However, Mark learnt to walk again with the aid of specialist prosthetic limbs, and just last year, he competed at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, and was the winner of four medals.
“The Royal Marine’s charity is very close to my heart being a Royal Marine and Blesma is close to my heart being an amputee. I always remember lying in hospital three days after I came out of intensive care and getting a visit from Blesma. The Royal Marines Charity were there from the minute I landed in hospital too. The casting took an hour and half of my time, which is nothing, and if it can raise money for charity, then I would be stupid not to do it. It’s nice to be able to give back and say thanks.”
Own a piece of history: if you would like to make a bid for the astounding sculpture, please visit: https://theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk/undefeated.
All proceeds will go towards further help for wounded service men and women.
Full list of tour dates:
24 Sep-8 Oct – Aviva
8-22 Oct – Aberdeen Standard
22 Oct-6 Nov – HSBC
6-18 Nov – Art in the Aftermath exhibition, at La Galleria, Pall Mall
20 Nov – Guildhall for auction
Notes to Editor:
Hi-res images can be downloaded here.
About Blesma, The Limbless Veterans:
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932. Blesma is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered limb loss or the loss of use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight. We support these men and women and their families in their communities throughout the UK and overseas.
Since 1932, we have been the only national Service charity that supports limbless veterans for the duration of their lives; just as we are still caring for our surviving World War II veterans, we also look after those who have survived complex trauma injuries through recent conflicts, accidents or illness, and will need our specialised support as they face the long journey ahead. Blesma aims to ensure that all serving or ex-service men and women who have lost sight, limbs or the use of limbs can lead independent and fulfilling lives and will not be failed, forgotten or left behind.
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @Blesma and Facebook /blesma
For further information on Blesma, The Limbless Veterans:
Contact Jessica Mackinnon, In-house journalist.
T: 020 8590 1124