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Sculptor Sam Holland on the 200 Voices podcast
200 Voices an RNLI podcast

‘The sea calls you back’

Episode 89 – The Shape of Courage: Sam Holland

How do you design a memorial that symbolises 200 years of sacrifice? Sculptor Sam Holland shares the inspiration for her beacon of hope.

There are numerous local memorials that pay tribute to those who have lost their lives at sea in the cause of saving others. But until 2009, there was no single memorial.

The brief for the RNLI Memorial sculpture in Poole, Dorset, stated that it should celebrate those both lost and saved, along with those who go to the rescue. Sam Holland, the sculptor behind the memorial, reveals the idea behind her design.

Beneath Sam’s sculpture are the names of over 800 volunteers lost since the early 1800s. New names are still coming to light, and being added. In most cases, those listed saved the lives of others before losing their own. The names are exposed yet resistant to the elements, much like the lifeboat crews who venture out, knowing that ‘With courage, nothing is impossible’.

Visit our RNLI Memorial page to see the list of those remembered.