Commemorate. Educate. Heal.
Those three words from the UK wide ‘There But Not There’ Remembrance initiative have guided a Lancashire village to not only remember the fallen, but to be honoured too.
Woodplumpton, near Preston, has become the Remembered charity’s case study, as an example of what can be achieved “if people believe in the campaign”.
Last year for the first time Remembered’s perspex figures of soldiers or Tommies were placed in numerous locations, indoors and outdoors across the country, to commemorate the 888,246 British and Commonwealth Service men and women who lost their lives in the First World War.
The Woodplumpton campaign was spearheaded by local resident Professor Steve Grigg, a parishioner at St Anne’s church Woodplumpton. He sought sponsorship for the figures and was delighted that local businesses and individual donors helped raise a bumper £5,992 for the charity and its beneficiaries.
It was the largest single donation the charity received from any community. He said: “I got the bit between my teeth. In just a short time bringing the community together it was unbelievable.”
Professor Grigg, a former Executive Vice-President Industrial and Business Development for BAE Systems, was subsequently appointed as Commonwealth and Lancashire Ambassador for the charity. A special letter of thanks was also sent to the Woodplumpton community.
The London based charity’s chairman and artist Martin Barraud and Chief Executive Officer Rowley Gregg pledged to recognise Professor Grigg’s “prominent Commonwealth role” and the village’s support with a Parliamentary reception.
* This year the congregation at St Anne’s Church, Woodplumpton and pupils from St Anne’s Primary School are joining together for a There But Not There Service of Remembrance at the church and village's War Memorial on Sunday November 10.
There are 29 names on the village war memorial commemorating the fallen of the two World Wars.
Professor Grigg said: “This year six of our primary school children will tell about the lives of individuals. The silhouettes will come out every year. It’s still important for us not to forget. I think this type of project brings the community together so when we do other things in the future there’s a foundation there already laid.”