Chester Visual Arts plays its part in commemorating the 225th anniversary of The Cheshire Yeomanry with the unveiling of its competition winner Jo Risley’s memorial to the Regiment’s fallen

Chester Visual Arts launched its search for an artist to pay tribute to the county’s courageous soldiers who sacrificed their lives.

Selected from a shortlist of 8 entries, gifted Cheshire sculptor Jo Risley was awarded the commission and has spent a year designing and constructing the unique piece.

The life-sized figure standing on its hind legs celebrates The Cheshire Yeomanry’s service which dates back to 1797 utilising horses and armoured vehicles, and combining the two with a pose that represents the passion, dedication and resilience of the Regiment.

Commenting on the commission Jo Risley said

“It was a great honour to be selected to create the memorial sculpture for the Cheshire Yeomanry and I would like to thank Chester Visual Arts for inviting me to take part in the competition.  This sculpture was one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding commissions I have undertaken and I am proud of the result. I hope the memorial will provide a suitable marker to remember all of those who serve or have served in the Cheshire Yeomanry.”

Made up of volunteers, Cheshire’s Army Reserve cavalry squadron is part of the larger Queen’s Own Yeomanry regiment based in the north of England and historically were mounted on horses drawn from the family estates of Cheshire. The history of the Cheshire Yeomanry is interwoven with the history of Cheshire itself.

Ian Short, Chairman of Chester Visual Arts says,

“visual arts provide an opportunity for a positive emotional response, changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time – we’re thrilled that Jo has produced a stimulus that combines the values of the Regiment, remembers its soldiers’ sacrifices and showcases the long standing relationship with the region.”

The Corten steel three-metre high structure can be viewed at National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where it takes pride of place in a 150-acre parkland.