New statues in King's Lynn serve as poignant reminder of the Great War
Two statues of First World War soldiers have been installed in Lynn’s Tower Gardens in a project to commemorate the centenary of the end of the conflict.
The statues, purchased in a joint project between West Norfolk Council and the Rotary Club of King’s Lynn, were unveiled in a ceremony on Friday.
Borough mayor Nick Daubney said: “Our Tommies remind us in a very real sense of those young members of our own community who lost their lives in the First World War.
“No longer with us, but a huge loss to their families, friends and work mates. We must remember and honour them.”
The Tommies are linked to WWI Soldiers Remembered, the borough council’s project with the Royal British Legion, which involves 600 schoolchildren spending an activity day at Stories of Learn on the topic of the borough’s Roll of Honour.
The representation of each name, a small wooden figure, is then placed in a symbolic No Man’s Land in Tower Gardens to create an art installation.
The Tommy statues have been installed on plinths in the No Man’s Land area, to ‘stand guard’ over the 600 smaller representations of soldiers.
On Friday, 120 children from St Michael’s Church of England Academy and Whitefriars Church of England Academy attended the ceremony, which began with a soundtrack of names inscribed on the war memorial being played out.
Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has a historically close relationship with the Armed Forces.
“The borough council is a proud member of the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant, and as such we recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community, today and in the past.
“I’m very pleased that we are part of this national project which commemorates the fallen of the First World War, but also raises funds for the veterans who need our help today.”
The Tommies were bought from charitable organisation There But Not There.
Ian Mason, community chairman of the Rotary Club of King’s Lynn, said: “I brought the idea of the There But Not There Tommy installation to the Rotary Club, who were just as excited and agreed the purchase.
“I then contacted the borough council to seek permission to place the Tommy in a prominent position in the town.
“We found the council had also purchased one and so we agreed to undertake a joint venture for the community.
“On behalf of the Rotary Club, I’d like to express my gratitude to the borough council and the Royal British Legion for being so pro-active and passionate about this project.
“The Rotarian's motto is "Service Above Self", and there has been no greater service given than those we remember here with this project, and along with the Royal British Legion 2018’s movement, we join them in saying thank you. Thank you to all who served, sacrificed, and changed our world.”