Man’s giant Battle of the Somme tattoo will take six days to complete

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Billy Kinsella’s back tattoo, which is being carried out by Kev Evans. 071117DC1-2

A supporter of the Armed Forces is sitting through six consecutive days of six-hour sessions so that he can have a full back tattoo featuring epic scenes from the Battle of the Somme.

Mr Billy Kinsella, a power station construction worker from Newark, began the process on Monday.

His chosen design is a montage comprising a picture of British Tommies in the trenches, a period tank, artillery gun, the cenotaph, cemetery headstones, poppies and the words ‘Lest We Forget.’ It includes some of the battle’s most iconic images that were captured on camera.

Although Mr Kinsella was never in the Forces, he said he had tremendous respect for what they did.

Billy Kinsella and tattooist Kev Evans, at the Taurus Tattoo Studio, Lombard Street, Newark. 071117DC1-6
Billy Kinsella and tattooist Kev Evans, at the Taurus Tattoo Studio, Lombard Street, Newark. 071117DC1-6

He is also aiming to raise £5,000 for Help The Heroes through collections at his place of work and on a JustGiving page.

The tattoo, carried out by Mr Kev Evans, from the Taurus Tattoo Studio on Lombard Street, Newark, costs £1,200, which Mr Kinsella will pay for himself.

He said that he already had so many tattoos that he had lost count, but wanted the latest addition as it was a full back tattoo.

‘It seems like a good idea but it’s very painful’

“I was inspired by the Battle of the Somme as it is possibly the iconic battle of the first world war and resulted in such huge loss of life,” he said.

“I have tremendous respect for the military and what they go through, and I wanted to honour them.

“This seemed like a great way to combine both.

“It will also be 100 years since the end of the first world war, too, next year.

“It still seems like a good idea but it’s very painful.”

Mr Evans said: “When Billy spoke to me about it, I kind of thought ‘yea, all right, it’s a good idea, but you’re a bit nuts.’

“I’ve never had anyone sit for so long over so many consecutive days.

“The hardest thing isn’t the inking but finding decent quality images to work from because it was more than 100 years ago.

“There were hours spent in front of the internet.”

To donate, visit Mr Kinsella’s fundraising page at

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