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There But Not There commemorates fallen soldiers in Lancashire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 05 September 2018

High Sheriff of Lancashire Anthony Attard OBE DL with silhouette of a First World War soldier

High Sheriff of Lancashire Anthony Attard OBE DL with silhouette of a First World War soldier

Archant

Lancashire was the first county to support the There But Not There campaign. Tony Attard explains why

Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away. The words are from a wartime song popular among soldiers in the trenches. But Tony Attard and a band of like-minded supporters are determined that the Lancashire Tommies who fell in World War One never fade from our memories.

‘There But Not There’ is the title of a nationwide commemorative project marking the end of the 1914-18 war with the installation of life-size silhouettes of soldiers in public spaces across the country.

Lancashire was in the vanguard of the scheme, which allows communities to honour the fallen listed on their own local war memorials by placing a silhouette in their cities, towns and villages. Nationwide, it is hoped there will be one for each of the 880,000 who died during the conflict.

Tony, who is High Sheriff of Lancashire and founder of the Lancashire textiles group, Panaz, read about the plan and contacted Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord-Lieutenant, suggesting the county should back it.

‘He thought it was a great idea and I should get on with it,’ said Mr Attard. ‘That is what’s happened and we were the first county to sign up. We have a group of supporters working with people from business, education and the church who all feel it’s important we commemorate the tremendous sacrifices made during that war.’ Supporters can sponsor a six-foot aluminium Tommy, while places of worship can create installations of Perspex Tommy head and shoulders silhouettes and individuals can purchase their own table top version.

These pieces of art, a follow-up to the 2014 tide of ceramic poppies pouring from the Tower of London, are made by ex-servicemen and their sale is expected to raise £15 million for military and mental health charities.

It will be distributed evenly between The Royal Foundation, Help for Heroes, Walking With The Wounded, Combat Stress, The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation and Project Equinox: Housing Veterans. The t striking black silhouettes are 6ft tall and can be bought for £750. There are already examples in Lancaster, at Preston railway station and in St John the Evangelist Church in Accrington. Other locations, such as Downham Church, are following in their footsteps.

The smaller versions fit on chairs and benches and they can be inscribed with names from local Rolls of Honour. Mr Attard has bought seven for Stonyhurst College, one for each of the school’s seven Victoria Cross holders.

Lord Shuttleworth said: ‘The There But Not There campaign is a hugely worthwhile cause, honouring those men who made the ultimate sacrifice and raising money for those in need today. We want the whole community to show their support for the charity and encourage businesses to get on board during this important year of commemoration.’

Mr Attard, also chairman of Marketing Lancashire, added: ‘These will be lasting memorials to people who suffered unimaginable hardships.

‘The constant fear, the whistle sending you over the top, the mud, the rats – it’s beyond our comprehension. We have a very pampered existence by comparison.’

For more information relating to ‘There But Not There’ or to see how you could get involved visit www.therebutnotthere.org.uk and via twitter at #therebutnotthere #LancashireRemembers.

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