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Talks stall on home for statue to remember fallen of First World War

PUBLISHED: 13:45 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:49 25 September 2018

The 6ft Tommy figures are being featured at First World War centenary events across the country. Picture: Martin Barraud/There But Not There

The 6ft Tommy figures are being featured at First World War centenary events across the country. Picture: Martin Barraud/There But Not There

Archant

A life-size silhouette statue of a soldier will take pride of place at First World War centenary events in Diss — but plans to find it a permanent home in the town have so far proved fruitless.

There But Not There, a national commemoration project led by former head of the army Lord Dannatt, who lives in Norfolk, will see the thought provoking 6ft tall Tommy sculptures feature at events across the country marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

Cromer, Dereham, Fakenham, Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton, King’s Lynn and Long Stratton are amongst the places in Norfolk where they will feature after councils and charity groups were encouraged to take part by purchasing one of the statues for £750.

The Rotary Club of Diss Waveney has also bought one of the haunting figures and it will be the centrepiece at a special concert at St Mary’s Church on November 17 and at First World War centenary events at Diss Corn Hall until the end of November.

Pat Mordey of Rotary Club of Diss Waveney with the Tommy silhouette that will be part of events in Diss. Picture: Diss Waveney Rotary ClubPat Mordey of Rotary Club of Diss Waveney with the Tommy silhouette that will be part of events in Diss. Picture: Diss Waveney Rotary Club

However plans to then place the statue in a new Peace Garden in the town have run into problems. The club had hoped to place it on former flower beds on Victoria Road, next to the Morrison’s roundabout, but talks have proved complicated and now they are examining alternative locations.

Rodney Howell, secretary of the Rotary Club of Diss Waveney, said: “We are still in talks and we hope to find him a permanent home within the town following the centenary commemorations but it is up in the air at the moment.

“We do have other ideas of where he could go but at this stage we don’t want to prejudice any negotiations by saying what those ideas are.”

The silhouettes represent those who lost their lives in the First World War. Picture: Martin Barraud/There But Not ThereThe silhouettes represent those who lost their lives in the First World War. Picture: Martin Barraud/There But Not There

Club president Pat Mordey recently took the Tommy figure on a tour of the town, including the Morrisons roundabout site, to promote the Tribute to Sacrifice concert, which will feature poetry and prose readings as well as songs performed by the Honington Military Wives Choir.

Events at Diss Corn Hall include a commemorative poppy installation, a talk about British art and artists during the First World War by local art historian Tania Harrington, a concert of war-time favourites with The Jonathan Wyatt Big Band and a screening of the film Journey’s End.

• The Tribute to Sacrifice concert takes place at St Mary’s Church, Diss, on November 17, tickets £7.50 with money raised benefitting Combat Stress and other charities. For more information email info@disswaveneyrotary.org.uk

Honington Military Wives Choir who will be performing at the concert at St Mary’s Church in Diss on November 17. Picture: Honington Military Wives ChoirHonington Military Wives Choir who will be performing at the concert at St Mary’s Church in Diss on November 17. Picture: Honington Military Wives Choir

• More about There But Not There

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