“The CWGC Centenary Garden is an opportunity to share and celebrate 100 years of great horticulture.”
David is the CWGC’s Director of Horticulture. He’s worked for us for more than 30 years and has been a driving force behind the creation of this garden. David has worked in most of the geographies in which the Commission works, from France to Fiji, Iceland to Indonesia.
“It is a great and rewarding challenge to be designing a garden for the Commonwealth War Graves centenary – interpreting and echoing some of the marvellous horticulture and design work that is displayed at their sites around the world.”
David’s background (he is a winner of 29 RHS Medals) and enthusiasm made him the perfect person to design the CWGC garden. David’s grandfather was badly injured in the First World War and that personal connection shines through in his design.
Click here to read David's blog on constructing the CWGC's Centenary Garden.
Jean Michel Ledhé
“Working on the RHS Chelsea Flower show is a great way to celebrate our centenary.”
Jean is a skilled stonemason at the CWGC’s workshops in France. From engraving the names of war dead on headstones, to carving intricate reliefs for some of the CWGC’s most iconic memorials, Jean is proud of the work he does to honour the war dead. For Chelsea, Jean was responsible for engraving the CWGC crest that forms the centrepiece of the garden.
Danny and Yves Delplace
“We are proud to work for the CWGC as it allows us to express our artistic skills for a good cause.”
Danny works as a blacksmith and handles all of the metal work for cemeteries in Belgium, Holland, Germany and part of France. He often works alongside his brother Yves – a painter and sign maker in our office in Belgium. The two brothers worked on the commemorative arch that forms the entrance to the CWGC garden. The arch is made from polyester resin on a wood and metal frame and was hand painted to resemble aged metal.
“The Chelsea Flower Show allows us to show our craft to a worldwide audience.”
Samuel has worked as a craftsman carpenter with the CWGC since 2006. His work ranges from repairing and recreating the most beautiful wooden features in cemeteries in France to the wooden seat in the garden’s centrepiece.
“I loved working on the entrance feature for the CWGC garden at the Chelsea flower show.”
Having trained as a carpenter Kurt also studied art and sculpture and he worked on creating the structure of the entrance arch.
“It is incredible to think that millions of people will see my work.”
For almost 30 years Christian has honed his blacksmithing skills with the CWGC – restoring and conserving much of the ironwork found at war cemeteries across Europe. Christian hand-crafted the railings and the leaves within them. Each leaf took thirty minutes to shape by hand.
SIMON LEACH, STEVE SARGEANT AND IAN BROWN
“These noble statues are such a powerful reminder of the people we commemorate.”
With more than 100 years of stonemasonry experience between them, Simon, Steve and Ian make up part of the CWGC’s United Kingdom and Northern Area works team – responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all our memorials in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. The three stone masons have readied the statues for the show – enabling them to “stand guard” over the garden.
“I started work for the CWGC in July 1978 and I am still as proud to work for our organisation as I was on that first day.”
Robert supervised all the work on the garden. He’s proud of his team and excited by the opportunity to show their skills and dedication to a world-wide audience.