Centenary News caught up with the Great War 'Tommies' standing guard at the Merchant Navy Memorial, near the Tower of London (Photo: Centenary News)

WW1 ‘Tommies’ launch final year Centenary campaign

Posted on centenarynews.com on 28 February 2018
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Life-size figures of British soldiers are appearing as part of a new charity art installation -There But Not There - commemorating this year’s 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The Tommies made their debut at locations across the UK, from the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, to Hearts Football Club in Edinburgh, Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, South Wales, and the Tower of London.

 "The poppies at the Tower of London captured the start of the national WWI commemoration - There But Not There will be the abiding concluding image", says General Lord Dannatt, a former professional head of the British Army and the project’s Patron.

The six-foot-tall wire soldiers will be touring the country until Armistice day, spearheading a campaign that aims to raise more than £15 million for armed forces and mental health charities, and CWGC’s Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

Members of the public can buy 10-inch (25cm) versions of the figures, which are made by military veterans, to commemorate their own relatives.

Alongside the touring Tommies, community groups are being invited to host ‘silhouette installations’ - designed to fit into seated spaces such as schools, village halls, places of worship or wherever there is a roll of honour. 

There But Not There's perspex silhouettes (above) have been inspired by artist Martin Barraud's commemorative project at Penshurst Church in Kent in 2016, where 51 figures represented each of the names on the village war memorial (Photo © There But Not There)

Novelist Sebastian Faulks, author of Birdsong and There But Not There Ambassador, says it’s important that people should feel part of the centenary commemorations.

"One hundred years ago this country offered its best young men to the war. Many never returned. This nationwide campaign will honour those men at a local level – in the villages and towns from which they came.

"Just as Pals Battalions were formed from local offices, factories and schools, so each community now has the chance to remember its own. These haunting figures allow us to give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice these men made for our country.”

For full information, visit There But Not There -  2018 Armistice project for the charity 'Remembered'.

Commemorative projects also coming up in 2018 - read in Centenary News:

Shrouds of the Somme in Armistice Centenary tribute.

Call to sow Ribbon of Poppies in 2018.

Final Tower Poppies tour venues named.

Images courtesy of There But Not There (Silhouettes); Centenary News (Tommies)

Posted by: CN Editorial Team