100th Anniversary of First World War 2017 UK Five Oz Coin | Royal Mint

03 Jul 2017

The Royal Mint’s series of five-ounce coins commemorating the First World War continues with the  fourth instalment in the organisation’s five year programme – each coin in the series marking moments in the war as we remember the 100 year anniversary.

The coin will be available in both Gold Proof and Silver Proof; the coin’s reverse side is designed by renowned sculptor Philip Jackson CVO DL MA FRBS, and its obverse bears the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Royal Mint Coin Designer Jody Clark. It is accompanied by a booklet created in collaboration with the Imperial War Museums, which explores the wartime events of 1917 and reveals the historic influences that inspired the designer.

Philip Jackson, whose sculptures include the poignant Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, said: “Having paid emotive visits to many of the World War One memorials and battlefields, I was honoured to accept the commission by The Royal Mint to design a coin for its First World War programme of commemoration.”

Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint’s Director of Consumer Coin said: “Philip Jackson’s moving design is inspired by the poetry of Rudyard Kipling. It is beautifully intricate in its detail and truly captures the mood of 1917.”

The Design

Philip Jackson’s design depicts a lone figure backed by a wreath of oak and laurel. The figure stands in a ‘rest on arms reverse’ stance, a position traditionally taken by Honour Guard at services of remembrance and for military funerals; this conveys the collective mourning and loss of the nation.

The inspiration for the design comes from the Jackson’s years of study of First World War poetry.

The poetry of Rudyard Kipling in particular has inspired the theme of remembrance expressed in the design; the poet was the founding member of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a group that changed the way war casualties are commemorated.

Having an internationally renowned reputation in memorial sculpture Philip Jackson’s recent public works include the Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Parliament Square, the Korean War Monument in Westminster, the seven-figure Bomber Command Memorial statues in Green Park and the National Memorial Sculpture to Her Majesty The Queen Mother, which stands in The Mall.

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