I had seen the 'Tommy' silhouette's featured in The Northern Echo recently but knew nothing about their history or reason for being produced until I came across this website ;
and an explanation about the project ;
The installation of 51 transparent seated military figures in the Penshurst Church over Remembrance 2016 lit a touch paper in the psyche of all who saw it.
Given that widespread resonance, There But Not There aims to place a representative figure for as many as possible of the names on local war memorials, around the country, into their place of worship, their school, their workplace or wherever their absence was keenly felt. These transparent silhouettes will be back within their communities for Remembrance 2018, the centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 First World War.
There But Not There will be the defining centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 war, installed where the men and women came from across the country, back in the communities they left behind. This project aims to Commemorate, Educate and Heal – the three aims of our charity.
Commemorate those who died in the First World War through installations of silhouettes wherever there is a Roll of Honour.
To Educate all generations, particularly today’s younger generation, born nearly 100 years after the outbreak of WW1, to understand what led to the deaths of 888,246 British and Commonwealth service personnel.
Heal today’s veterans who are suffering from the mental and physical wounds of their service by raising substantial funds through sales of our Tommies.
Funds raised from the sale of our Tommies will contribute directly to the work carried out by our beneficiary charities below. The Tommies and their commemorative packaging are made by the Royal British Legion Industries, appropriately, by ex-Service Veterans employed by RBLI.
Several of the metal silhouette's have appeared in and around the Catterick Garrison area and look set to become a nationwide featrure . I hope so .
Youth is wasted on the young !
The following user(s) said Thank You: PETERTHEEATER, kebecker, airfields man, canberra
canberra wrote: I just hop some low life scum bag doesnt set light to it.
He's been there awhile now and is in good company , standing next to a statue of James Cook depicted as a boy .
I wanted to post a photo of the Seaham Tommy but couldnt find one although I'm sure he's already on the forum somewhere ?
airfields man wrote: What does the small plaque say ?
The small plaque below the wicker soldier ? It reads ;
From the residents of Great Ayton on the 100th anniversary of the First World War 4 August 1914 to 11 November 1918
In these years 260 men and women risked their lives for freedom, only 210 returned to see this green again
With thanks to Ian Pearce of the Gt Ayton local history group who also points out that actually there were over 330 men and 3 women , Voluntary Aid Detachment , volunteering for service rather than 260 as mentioned on the plaque .