Carving his way to Parliament
Pictured: Former soldier and chainsaw artist Ian Murray, with 'Joey'
It’s not every day you see a life-sized wooden horse popping up across various venues in North Wales.
The sculpture, inspired by the journey of 'Joey' a thoroughbred horse in Sir Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel War Horse, has been carved in oak by chainsaw artist and former soldier, Ian Murray.
The installation was commissioned by Richard Kendrick from Rhyl’s Royal British Legion who approached local veteran Ian, to carve this magnificent masterpiece.
With input from local schools, politicians and sponsorship from North Wales' businesses including Abbeyford Leisure, the sculpture was recently unveiled at a ceremony in Mostyn, Flintshire and forms part of the #ThankYou100 Movement, the key centenary commemorations marking 100 years since the end of WWI.
As reported in local press, Richard said: "Joey will be used to educate pupils about the sacrifice made by millions of British and Commonwealth soldiers and the vital role played by horses."
Vale of Clwyd MP, Chris Ruane said: "Ian Murray has served his country and pursued his love of wood carving in civvy street.
"He has managed to merge these two careers in this carving of War Horse to commemorate the sacrifice of service personnel and service animals.
"It was quite emotional to stand next to his carving and touch and feel the huge piece of solid Welsh oak which would have been growing at the same time these young people and animals were dying in the war.
"It is a masterpiece which has taken 63 hours to complete.
"I also congratulate Richard Kendrick for all the organisation which has gone into this excellent project I will be approaching the speaker of the House of Commons to see if we can display it in the Palace of Westminster."
Pictured: Ian Murray at Elie Holiday Park, where many of his carvings can be seen.
Pictured: Sgt Andrew and CWO Upshall from 1340 Rhyl Air Cadets with 'Joey' at Rhyl's Poppy Appeal launch