The Corten steel horse
The centre-point of the wood will be a life-sized war horse sculpture, created out of Corten steel by the designer Steve Tomlinson. The work is nearly ready for delivery, but on its way to Coed Coed Ffos it will spend day outside the Senedd, the home of the Welsh Assembly on Cardiff Bay, to give Assembly Members and members of the public the change to see and admire it. There will also be an exhibition inside the Assembly.
The surface of the sculpture will be made up of leaves made of Corten steel that rusts and seals as it ages. The leaves chosen, oak, field maple, alder, beech, willow and holly, represent some of the different ways in which wood and timber were used in the war. And the heart of the sculpture will be a Horseshoe found on the site, probably from the former farm holding which once stood there.
Yr Arwr / Hero
Over the summer the Trust organised a competition asking members of the public to suggest a name for the horse. Nearly a hundred different suggestions were made. At a special ceremony outside the Senedd on 6 November, the winning entry was announced. The horse will be known as ‘Yr Arwr / Hero’, named after poet which won Hedd Wyn the Chair, posthumously, at the National Eisteddfod of 1917. The name had been suggested by Nicola Hancock, among others. The successful name had been chosen from a shortlist of three, which also included ‘Tommy’ and ‘Poppy’.
The Trust’s aim at Ffos Las it to create a special woodland, one that will stand tall in honour of the generation of 100 years ago, providing a lasting tribute to all those involved in the First World War. By the end of the project, volunteers will have planted over 90,000 trees at the site. The centrepiece, the commemorative feature, will be this horse sculpture. Featuring different leaf shapes, the sculpture highlights the key role played by woods and trees in the First World War. It will also commemorate the more than a million war horses and mules who served in the British Army in that terrible conflict.