Pierce Wilkinson Celebration Memorial

A fitting tribute was held by the Redhill community on the 20th June to remember and celebrate the life of Pierce Wilkinson. The night of commemoration and remembrance began with a gathering of family, friends and staff. The evenings proceedings were led by the new Head Boy and Girl, Ben Bishop and Rabia Rehman who opened and welcomed all to the event. Miss McGrail, Head Teacher, then gave a dedication and spoke of the lasting memory the statue would bring, ensuring that ‘it will allow people who were close to Pierce to have their own memories of him’ as well as for those who did not, as it will be a permanent structure within the school grounds for many years to come.

The group were then addressed by some of Pierce’s closest friends (Tyler Smith, Sam Mannings and Sam Thomas Year 10 students) who remembered their journey through the creation process of the statue with the sculptor, Luke Perry, before Mrs Beeston (Pierce’s form teacher) remembered him as the ‘funny, caring and unique’ student that everyone had gathered to honour.

Luke Perry, a former student himself, recounted the creation of the sculpture from the very first meeting with Pierce’s friends, family and Mrs Chamberlain-Page. He wanted to show and reflect the life of a young man who was ready to fulfil his education and life of adventure and this is where one of the main influences, the pursuit of adventure, manifested from in his designs. For this, the sculpture encompassed a model of the HMS Beagle, the ship that Darwin explored the far reaches of the globe on for his book ‘On the Origin of Species’ as well as interlocking scrolls with quotes from both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to include more of Pierce’s greatest interests and inspirations.

Pierce’s sister, Lydia, also spoke at the evening and, with the sun breaking through the clouds to glint from the fashioned sails of the Beagle, the memory of Pierce was the strongest connection that bound all those there together in one moment of reflection and celebration.

Matthew Roach