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‘Tommy’ silhouettes unveiled in Christchurch Park ahead of November 11 armistice centenary

PUBLISHED: 19:02 10 October 2018

From L-R: Cllr Alasdair Ross, Martin Combes (Royal British Legion) Maria Wilson, Ranulph Woods and Nicolas Rix-Perez ((Ipswich School combined cadet force) and Lisa Stannard (Operations Manager for Parks & Cemeteries). Picture: Neil Didsbury

From L-R: Cllr Alasdair Ross, Martin Combes (Royal British Legion) Maria Wilson, Ranulph Woods and Nicolas Rix-Perez ((Ipswich School combined cadet force) and Lisa Stannard (Operations Manager for Parks & Cemeteries). Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

As the world prepares to mark next month’s centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War, a poignant tribute to the Ipswich’s fallen has been unveiled in Ipswich.

Five life-sized silhouettes of British “Tommies” have been placed in the town – three in Christchurch Park and two in the cemeteries – to remind people of the sacrifice made by their forefathers a century ago.

They were unveiled by Ipswich councillor Alasdair Ross, a former soldier who returned to uniform in Afghanistan nine years ago in the war against the Taliban.

Mr Ross was joined by cadets from Ipswich School who were the same age as some of the soldiers and sailors who lost their lives during the Great War.

He said: “I think it is very important for people to remember and recognise the sacrifice that the services have made over the years – and this year is, of course, very as it is the centenary of the end of the First World War.”

The new Tommy statues will be places around Christchurch Park in Ipswich. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new Tommy statues will be places around Christchurch Park in Ipswich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mr Ross said he had noticed a greater interest in the events surrounding Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Sunday in recent years.

He said: “You see a lot more people, and in particular a lot more younger people turn out to the Remembrance Service here (Christchurch Park) than you did in the 1970s and 80s.

“I think there is a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made and that is growing.”

Also at the event was Royal British Legion vice chairman Martin Combes who said the silhouettes would be good way of introducing the period of remembrance.

One of several new pieces of art to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I. 
Picture: Neil DidsburyOne of several new pieces of art to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The Legion is preparing to open a temporary shop in the Sailmakers Shopping Centre at the start of the Remembrance period on October 27.

Mr Combes said: “This is always an important time of the year for us, but especially so this year.

“The Legion does important work with service personnel, former service personnel and their families all through the year – but at this time of year there is more of a spotlight on that.”

The launch of this year’s Poppy Appeal will also feature the visit of a gun carriage to the town centre that will be heart of Ipswich collecting money to give it the best start possible.

Lest we forget. Picture: Neil DidsburyLest we forget. Picture: Neil Didsbury

There are special events planned locally and nationally in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday, which this year does fall on November 11.

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