Leeds village’s moving tribute to brave heroes of WW1

HOMAGE: Piper Rachael Blueman plays next to the Tommy silhouette.
HOMAGE: Piper Rachael Blueman plays next to the Tommy silhouette.
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THEY came together on a warm summer’s day in Yorkshire to remember the boys who died far from home amid the mud and misery of the First World War.

The picturesque village of Scholes, to the east of Leeds, was the setting on Saturday for the unveiling of a six-feet-tall aluminium silhouette depicting a British Tommy.

It is one of many being installed around the country as part of a remembrance project called There But Not There running during the build-up to November’s centenary of the signing of the Armistice.

The silhouette in Scholes has been put in place at the village’s war memorial, which carries the names of 14 local heroes who fought and died between 1914 and 1918.

The Barwick & Scholes and Leeds Central branches of the Royal British Legion had standards on display at Saturday’s ceremony, with a bagpiper also in attendance and a minute’s silence held.

Second World War veteran Ted Stuart, at 93 the oldest member of the Barwick & Scholes branch, was given the honour of unveiling the silhouette.

Barwick & Scholes branch standard bearer Martyn Simpson, a 56-year-old RAF veteran, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It was an extremely poignant occasion and there was an excellent turnout from the residents of the village. Some of them were only in their late teens, and that was good to see.”

The Tommy silhouette’s purchase was funded by Barwick in Elmet & Scholes Parish Council following an approach by long-time Scholes resident Philip Brown.

Mr Brown, 62, said: “I just saw something on the TV about There But Not There and everything has spiralled from that.

“I hope having the silhouette here will inspire future generations to find out more about the war.”

The YEP will this Friday start a major series to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

Beginning with 100 days to go until the centenary, it will cover exhibitions, concerts, church services and other projects taking place to commemorate the events of November 11, 1918. The Armistice 100 series will also look back to life in Leeds during the war and, as part of that, we want to hear YOUR family’s stories of heroism and sacrifice.