A Northampton artist has spent four months hand drawing hundreds of portraits of fallen service personnel in a bid to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
Art teacher Sam Bailey, who works at Caroline Chisholm school, has given up 12 weeks of her time to pay tribute to the 456 British troops who passed away while serving in Afghanistan.
Ms Bailey, who has described the project as a “massive labour of love”, is the only artist in the world who has compiled drawings of any servicemen who have died while on tour.
In 2015 Sam and her partner Alex, an ex-army veteran founded ‘The Regimental Art Co’ and have compiled Sam’s drawings in the newly published Mighty 456 Afghan Heroes book.
Ms Bailey said: “456 UK soldiers died in Afghanistan, that is not just a number, they each individually matter and they each have families, friends and loved ones that miss them and will never forget about them.
“The trouble is it's far too easy for people to forget what sacrifices they made for us. I don't think they should have died in vain or be forgotten. We are creating this book to make sure each and every one of them has a face and a name to be remembered. Immortalised forever in our book and will raise money for the Royal British Legion. Lest we Forget."
The book was launched on the night of the 9th September at Caroline Chisholm school, where families of the fallen, comrades and friends were in attendance.
The exhibition was opened by The Mayor of Northampton and members of the Royal British Legion went along to see Sam’s drawings, which were exhibited at the gallery.
Sam added: “When Alex was medically discharged from the British Army his whole career came to an end and his life was turned upside down.
“We decided to create affordable military art for people which has progressed into doing the memorial and commemorative pieces. While watching the Invictus games we realised how little support our veterans have and how they can fade away and be forgotten about. It is our mission to ensure that every armed forces personnel matter.”
'The Mighty 456 Afghan Heroes' book is now on sale, see link: https://www.facebook.com/The-Regimental-Art-Co-1608146799427092/?pnref=lhc