A poignant reminder of those local people who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I has been installed close to a town war memorial.
Harborough District Council has installed the striking metal figure next to the War Memorial in Lutterworth at the junction of Church Street and George Street.
The sculpture depicts a ‘Tommy’ – an informal term for a soldier in the British Army – who stands thoughtfully, head bowed, rifle in hand, as he reflects upon the sheer horror of World War I as peace is declared in 1918.
This new addition follows the installation of new energy-efficient lights at the war memorial provided by the district council through its Section 106 (developer contributions) funding pot.
Identical WWI silhouettes have been installed in Broughton Astley and Market Harborough, next to their respective war memorials, as part of the council’s 100 year anniversary commemorations marking the end of WWI.
Cllr Neil Bannister, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “I am proud that Harborough District Council has provided this WWI silhouette for Lutterworth. We must always remember the great sacrifices made during the War and this ‘there but not there’ silhouette is a moving legacy.”
Lutterworth Mayor Brian Poulter said: “In this centenary year, it is important to have a new symbol so the younger generation can be reminded of what happened and the effect it had on the generation at that time.”
Dick Stilgoe, Chairman of the Lutterworth and District branch of the Royal British Legion said: “This memorial garden means everything to the RBL and the people of Lutterworth and this silhouette is a welcome addition.”
Cllr Janette Ackerley, Lutterworth Town Councillor and district councillor said: “This poignant and striking silhouette will enhance this already wonderful place of remembrance.”
The installation is part of the district council’s plans to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I, as well as the anniversary of 1918 Representation of the People Act which, for the first time, gave women the right to vote.
World War I lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including people from the Harborough district, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war.
Other plans, as part of the commemorations, include naming streets after those who fought in the 1914-1918 war and/or women who fought for the right to vote, and an art installation.