100 years ago the Great War came to an end. In this extraordinary Centenary year, Torridge District Council is remembering and supporting the Armed Forces past and present, with two ceremonial benches and six ‘Tommy’ figures.
The figures, purchased from the charity ‘There But Not There’ provide a moving symbol of remembrance and help build awareness for the charity. The charity has three clear aims: to commemorate, to educate and to heal. All profits from the sales of the Tommies go to their six benefiting charities. The Tommies will be positioned around Victoria Park, Bideford with two being visible from the ceremonial bench that is installed there. The second bench is positioned at the front of Riverbank House.
The two benches depict scenes from the First World War, and were obtained with help from the Bideford Chamber of Commerce who contributed to one of the benches. One of the benches also includes the iconic image of a horse serving alongside the men. Many horses from Devon served in the War, so it is also important to remember their sacrifice.
This year the Council also launched the ‘Torridge Remembers’ project online. A special logo was created where the iconic Tommy figures were photographed in different locations across the district to raise awareness and help people reflect. All of the photos are available to share on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Councillor Jane Whittaker – Leader of Torridge District Council said:
“The benches and Tommies provide a poignant image for this extraordinary year. These benches particularly reflect my own desire to see the enormous sacrifices made by so many recognised. However, I also very much wanted to keep my word to our previous Leader, Cllr Phil Collins, and the decision made in the last Council, to commemorate the WW1 hundredth year anniversary. The benches will allow people to sit and reflect on the sacrifice and service of our Armed Forces past and present.”
Councillor Simon Inch – Chair of Torridge District Council said:
“The Tommies remind us of all those who served in WW1 and did not return home. We have much to be thankful for because of the sacrifice of this generation. It is extremely important that as a community we not only remember those who have fallen, but those who still serve and their families as well. It is through remembering and honouring the past that we can best stand alongside the Armed Forces community – we will remember them”
For more information please visit: https://www.therebutnotthere.org.uk/