'Decorum Est', medal

'Decorum Est', medal

'Decorum Est'
Medal
Sara Ewers (born 1974)
England (Loughborough)
1996
Bronze, cast, with gold leaf; hessian bag with silver snippets
Museum no. A.7:1-1999
Given by the artist

The medal, its title and container evoke the subject of war. This side shows human suffering, the true face of war, while the hessian 'sandbag' and 'barbed wire' spikes symbolise trench warfare.

The title is a contraction of 'Dulce et decorum est', which itself is the title of a poem by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen. It comes from the longer Latin phrase meaning 'It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country'. The words printed on metal snippets under the hessian are also by Owen.