Poignant ‘Tommies’ watch over Rotherham Remembrance eventsPublished Tuesday, 6th November 2018
The poignant silhouettes of two 6ft Tommies, which represent 100 years since the end of the First World War, will keep watch over this year’s acts of Remembrance in Rotherham.
The Tommies are part of a nationwide campaign called There, But Not There, and have been placed either side of the cannon outside Rotherham Town Hall. The campaign, organised by the charity Remembered, will raise money for today’s armed forces charities.
Mayor of Rotherham Alan Buckley said: “It’s wonderful to have the two 6ft Tommies placed so prominently in the town centre for this year’s Remembrance events. They epitomise the First World War and will serve as a very poignant reminder about the sacrifice made by so many soldiers during the conflict.”
Cllr Buckley will lead the Remembrance parade on Sunday, November 11. The parade will meet at Effingham Square at 9am, before the service gets underway at 9.45am at Rotherham Minster.
Following the service, the parade will leave the Minster before heading along High Street and up Doncaster Gate to the Cenotaph in Clifton Park where a wreath laying ceremony will take place. There will be two minutes’ silence at 11am.
“It will be a highlight of my time as Mayor to lead the parade and I invite as many people as possible to join with us to remember our fallen heroes,” added Councillor Buckley.
Councillor Ian Jones, Rotherham Council’s Armed Forces Champion, has urged as many people as possible to make time to look at the Tommies while they are on view outside the Town Hall. They will be on display until Monday, November 19.
“The Rotherham Tommies ‘stand alongside’ many others across the country and help us to remember the enormous sacrifice made by those who fought in the First World War and who paid the ultimate price,” he said.
“It’s hoped they will help our younger generation understand why and how 888,246 British and Commonwealth service personnel lost their lives in the Great War of 1914-1918. We’d love for as many people as possible to get involved and even take photos and selfies with the ‘there but not there’ soldiers to post on social media.”
Businesses in the town have been creating window displays to commemorate the end of the war and these will line part of the parade route along the High Street. Poppies have also been spray-painted onto the street using temporary paints and stencils by REMA (Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance).
Shokat Lal, Rotherham Council Assistant Chief Executive, said: “Remembrance Sunday and the events surrounding it are incredibly important and it’s wonderful that our commemorations have reached out to the town’s business community.
“This year’s Remembrance events in Rotherham are extra special as we remember all fallen soldiers as we mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.”
The Rotherham Poppy Cascade is also available to view at the Centenary Market Hall until November 17. There will also be a street party to celebrate the end of the First World War. The party will take place in Rotherham’s Outdoor Covered Market, on Saturday, November 10 from 11am to 4pm, and everyone is welcome to attend.
The York and Lancaster Regimental Museum at Clifton Park Museum is running a special exhibition called Coming Home: The End of the Great War. The exhibition can be viewed at any time during museum opening hours, and a number of remembrance-themed events and activities for children and adults are also taking place, see the events web pages for more details of these.