Photo 1 Copyright Sheila Marrison

Our Journal

Looe Royal British Legion & Plymouth College of Art students remember the Falklands War

Students create sand drawing on East Looe Beach to commemorate the people of Looe who took part in the conflict

On the 40th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, Looe Royal British Legion commissioned BA (Hons) Extended Degree students from Plymouth College of Art to create a sand drawing of the Falkland Islands on East Looe Beach, to commemorate the men of Looe who took part in the conflict.

Falklands 40 b Copyright SJM Drone Imagine

The commemorative sand drawing - Copyright SJM Drone Imaging

The sand drawing was carried out by Plymouth College of Art students from the university-sector art school’s BA (Hons) Extended Degrees. There was a two-minute silence at 11am to remember all who served in the conflict and especially those who never returned home to their families. Seven members of the Looe Royal British Legion Branch were involved in the conflict, which started on 2 April 1982.

Photo 2 Copyright Sheila Marrison

Students on the beach - Copyright Sheila Marrison

The Extended BA first-year students involved were Dorron Britz, Jo Nudd, Lola Reynolds, Becky Alford, Hassan Duffus, Darren Anthony, Lucy Arscott-Guerrero, Vanessa Crosse, Ben Younes, Helen Butland and her daughter Erika Butland and Erika’s fiancé Gniewko Zuber.

Falklands 40 c Copyright SJM Drone Imaging

The students working on the commemorative sand drawing - Copyright SJM Drone Imaging

A spokesperson from the Looe Branch of The Royal British Legion, said: “The Falklands War was the first military action since the Second World War that utilised all elements of the Armed Forces plus the invaluable contribution by the British Merchant Navy. The conflict lasted 74 days, during which seven ships were lost to enemy action, nine aircraft were shot down, and 255 British personnel lost their lives. Their names are all inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

“There are veterans of the Falklands conflict who still struggle with physical and mental scars, and some have faced life-long challenges or hardships since then. The Royal British Legion remains committed to ensuring that service and sacrifice in more recent conflicts is recognised and that all generations of the Armed Forces community know the RBL is here to support them, for life.”

Photo 3 Copyright Sheila Marrison

The students with Programme Leader Helen Markes (front) - Copyright Sheila Marrison

Helen Markes, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Extended BA (Hons) degrees at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Students from Plymouth College of Art work have worked annually with the East Looe Town Trust for over a decade, most often creating sand sculptures on the beach in September as an induction activity for students new to the college, giving them the opportunity to collaborate in one of the South West’s most vibrant and beautiful coastal settings. I’m always grateful for the warm welcome that Looe extends to our students and staff.”

“The students worked hard despite inclement weather to create a fabulous interpretation of the Falkland Isles. There was a great deal of interest from both locals and visitors about the event. The drone imagery certainly showed the sand drawing off at its best - a successful and rewarding day for all.”

Falklands 40 Copyright SJM Drone Imaging

The commemorative sand drawing, almost complete - Copyright SJM Drone Imaging

As the country’s largest Armed Forces charity, the Royal British Legion is at the heart of a network that is there to support members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

The Extended BA programme at Plymouth College of Art is for people who want to pursue a creative degree but feel like they might not yet have acquired the experience and range of skills necessary to succeed in Higher Education. This four-year route offers an exploratory year, allowing students to develop their insight into a range of art, design and media skills and approaches, before progressing onto a specialist degree. The Extended BA environment is dynamic and supportive, helping students to discover their passions and strengths within the creative arts, whilst building academic confidence, purpose and direction.

Thanks to East Looe Town Trust for giving permission to use the beach and to SJM Drone Imaging and Sheila Marrison for photographing the event.