The Herne Hill Society in partnership with London and South Eastern Railway Ltd and the Charter School North Dulwich commissioned Mark in early 2019 to design and carve a striking new First World War memorial plaque.
The Herne Hill Memorial Plaque came as a result of two years intensive research into Herne Hills war casualties by members of the society supported by students from the Charter School North Dulwich and other members of the public. Their work commemorates more than five hundred local service men and women who lost their lives, as well as the suffering of all local people as a result of the 1914 -18 war. The volunteer led project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has built a database of over five hundred and fifty individual records. See Memorial.Hernhillsociety.org.uk for details.
Mark used dramatic and expressive letter design and bold colours to especially emphasise the first world war poet Philip Larkin’s poignant phrase “Never such innocence again” which features prominently on the memorial.
He drew the inscription by hand working with members of the Herne Hill Society to get the right design and carved the words over a period of 3 weeks at his studio in Canterbury into Welsh slate.
The unveiling of the Memorial Plaque took place on Remembrance Sunday 2019 in the ticket office of the train station where the memorial is positioned, a place through which countless men passed on route to the front line in France and Flanders.
Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes was invited to unveil the memorial. The occasion was well attended by a crowd of hundreds thanks in part to the encouragement of a local town crier and was followed by a moving performance of The Last Post before a two minutes’ silence at 11 am.