The Design Brief

The initial design brief was issued via the Royal British Society of Sculptors and twenty one sculptors responded with an interest in the project. This was narrowed down to four and the Commission was awarded to Tom Murphy of Liverpool. In late 2012 produced a maquette expressing his ideas for the memorial. This met with general acclaim when it was shared with others including Reading Borough Council. The Committee were unanimous in accepting the concepts and confirming Tom as our selected artist.

The maquette has been very useful in helping us promote the project and talking to people about the details of the memorial. We received considerable encouragement and many valuable suggestions. It was used extensively during our schools' outreach, at Armed Forces Day exhibitions, talks to local clubs and societies, at fundraising charity balls and news slots on the BBC and ITV. In Between events it spent much time in the window of Haslams, our major sponsor attracting attention from passers-by.

It was taken to Andrew Peach's morning show on BBC Radio Berkshire and he described it as 'the biggest visual aid ever brought onto my show'

In 2013 we agreed with Reading Borough Council that the memorial would be sited outside Forbury Gardens, by the entrance opposite the Crown Court and the Forbury Hotel. This site was felt to be most suitable as a place for reflection, providing space to lay out various additional elements of the planned memorial including tributes to all the men of the Berkshire Yeomanry who gave their lives in three major conflicts. The Council felt that the open space was "A very suitable place for a great piece of sculpture"

In addition to the sculpture other components of the memorial developed gradually and included:-

The Roll of Honour to the 426 men of the Berkshire Yeomanry who gave their lives serving their country in the wars of the 20th Century. Capt. Andrew French and Wayne Radcliffe of the Berkshire Yeomanry Museum spent over two years researching the names for inclusion, checking and double checking to provide what we regard as the most comprehensive list possible.

Interpretation boards about the Berkshire Yeomanry, Gallipoli, the Victoria Cross and Fred Potts' VC citation, to explain the story to children and adults in words and pictures.

The carvings of the badge of the Berkshire Yeomanry and of the Victoria Cross by stonemason Jonathan Rayfield are themselves works of art gracing the ends of the plinth.

The Government sponsored VC paving stone was set up adjacent to the Reading War Memorial at the entrance to Forbury Gardens. It was unveiled at 5 pm on 21st August 2015, the centenary of the start of the attack on Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli.

The memorial itself was unveiled on the 4th October 2015, close to the centenary on 1st October of Fred Potts' VC award by King George V being reported in the London Gazette.

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2010 - Present © Frank Toogood (Design) and Potts VC Trust (Content)