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Makeover for home of London's Royal Marines Reserves

RM History Murals
30 June 2016
A mural commemorating the 350 year history of the Royal Marines has been unveiled at Wandsworth Barracks, the home of London’s Royal Marine Reserves.

The art work was produced by 14 A level students from neighbouring Southfields Academy.  Each student researched the history of the Royal Marines before designing and producing a panel depicting a significant event from the Corps’ past, including  Waterloo, both World Wars, the Korean War, the Gulf War, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The mural was commissioned by the Commanding Officer of Royal Marines Reserve London Lieutenant Colonel Ed Moorhouse, himself once an A level arts student.

He praised the originality and scope of the students’ work, “These students have really impressed us with the depth of their research and understanding of the Royal Marines history. Artistically they’ve really turned things upside down in terms of military art, while each panel is one student’s concept they also complement each other perfectly. 

“There is a long tradition of art reflecting military life and I am proud to have this latest addition hanging in the Royal Marines Reserve Wandsworth Barracks,” he added.

There is a long tradition of art reflecting military life and I am proud to have this latest addition hanging in the Royal Marines Reserve Wandsworth Barracks

Lieutenant Colonel Ed Moorhouse, Commanding Officer of Royal Marines Reserve London

Art teacher Numo Reis, who supervised the project, believes delivering the commission will bring real benefits to the students. 

She explained, “This has been a great opportunity to bring the work of Southfields Academy into a new environment. I believe this project will open doors for our students in the future, after all if you can deliver for the Royal Marines you can deliver for anyone “

The mural was officially unveiled on 17 June by Putney, Roehampton and Southfields MP Rt Hon Justine Greening. 

She told the students they should be immensly proud of their work, “The paintings are so fantastic and so thoughtful I’ve been blown away. They show the Royal Marines’ history is not just about war and conflict but also about keeping the peace.”

Student Bobbie Temple chose Operation Desert Storm, the first Gulf War, for her part of the mural, depicting the dust of the desert, the environmental hazards of oil spills and dangers of gas attack during the campaign. 

She said, “I wanted to focus on things I found interesting and that I could get across in a positive and unique way. I’ve tried to show the whole Gulf War and what it meant.”

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