Help for Heroes commemorates Armistice in Plymouth with Tommy projections

In the 100th year of the Armistice, a haunting reminder of those who gave their lives in WW1 is being projected onto the former Civic Centre in Plymouth city centre and will appear in Plymouth’s Illuminate Festival.

Help for Heroes and There But Not There – the campaign by the charity Remembered – are projecting a giant image of a ‘Tommy’, the nickname for a WW1 soldier, to galvanise the public to buy 10-inch Perspex silhouette Tommy replicas to help today’s veterans. The figures can be ordered from therebutnotthere.org or from any WH Smith high street store.

Money raised from their sale will go to military charities Help for Heroes, The Royal Foundation, Walking With The Wounded, Combat Stress, Project Equinox and the Commonwealth Graves Foundation.

From 5-10th November Tommy will be projected onto the former Civic Centre tower block and he will also appear in the Illuminate Festival at the Royal William Yard from 22-25th November.

The silhouettes were designed by conceptual photographer and installation artist Martin Barraud, who first created the Perspex men representing the Fallen. Fifty-one transparent seated military figures, representing those lost in the war, were installed in Penshurst Church in Kent over the Remembrance period in 2016.

There But Not There has three aims:  to Commemorate those who died in the First World War, Educate all generations to understand what led to the deaths of 888,246 British and Commonwealth Service personnel and Heal today’s veterans who are suffering from the mental and physical wounds of service through the sale of the Tommies.

Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre Manager, Jock Easton, says: “Help for Heroes is incredibly proud to be one of the benefitting charities of this project. It commemorates the end of WW1 by educating about the sacrifice of those who have and continue to put their lives on the line for us and heal by giving them a second chance at life.

We couldn’t have realised this project without the generosity of John Hibdige of JH-AV for supplying the projection equipment. Our thanks also go to Plymouth City Council, Real Ideas Organisation, Urban Splash and 42 Commando for their help in making this a reality.”

John Hibdige from JH-AV, who supplied the kit and expertise to shine Tommy onto the Civic Centre, said: “There But Not There is an amazing project and it’s been our pleasure to be able to support Help for Heroes with the Plymouth projection.”

Tommy is being projected from the Guildhall and a Plymouth City Council spokesman said they were glad to help: “As a military city we are aware of the good work carried out by our military charities. We were happy to be able to assist Help for Heroes and There But Not There to realise this projection to raise more money to help today’s veterans. Thanks to all our staff at the Guildhall who have helped this project take shape.”

Tommy will also be part of Plymouth’s Illuminate Festival being held at the Royal William Yard later in the month. Jenny Bishop from Real Ideas Organisation, which is behind this year’s Illuminate Festival, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Help for Heroes and have Tommy as part of this year’s Illuminate Festival. We work closely with the charity and have seen first-hand how support for today’s veterans can have positive impact on people’s lives.”

Hailey Cattle from Urban Splash, who now own the former Civic Centre, said: “We are delighted to support Help for Heroes and play our part in commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice. Our hope is that the Tommy projection, onto one of Plymouth’s most prominent landmarks in the heart our City, will create a huge amount of awareness for this exceptional charity.”

A Help for Heroes/Remembered Tommy will also be present at Plymouth’s Remembrance service on the Hoe on Sunday 11 November.

There But Not There is the 2018 Armistice project for the charity Remembered.

Help for Heroes offers support throughout the year from its Recovery Centre in Plymouth and community locations across the South West. To get support or give support visit: helpforheroes.org.uk