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Council backs Royal British Legion Silent Soldier appeal

Businesses and organisations around Wolverhampton are being invited to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War by supporting the Royal British Legion's Silent Soldier campaign.

City to commemorate anniversary of end of First World War
City to commemorate anniversary

The Silent Soldier
The Silent Soldier

100 years ago, the guns fell silent on the world's first truly global war. The Royal British Legion believes it is time to think about all of those who lived through this tragic and remarkable time, and to say thank you for all they did.

The Royal British Legion is asking groups and individuals to sponsor and display metal or polymer Silent Solider silhouettes on buildings, in gardens, offices or the home as part of its nationwide thank you campaign. The City of Wolverhampton Council will be among those displaying a Silent Solider in memory of those who did not return home and those who did and went on to lay the foundations for the society and the freedoms people enjoy today.

Following the end of the war in November 1918, the long process of demobilisation and discharge began. The Silent Soldier represents soldiers arriving back to England who were given a railway ticket to their home station.

From there they were on their own, and would be seen across the country, walking back home, down the roads and across the fields, returning to their families, but they represent the whole society of the nation that changed.

Alison Bates, Community Fundraiser for the Royal British Legion in Wolverhampton and the Black Country, said: "Companies, community groups and individuals can donate to receive and display a Silent Soldier as part of our nationwide campaign to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

"We want people to remember the conflict, but also to acknowledge that it was a moment in time which changed our collective futures forever. For instance, women played a huge role in the First World War and this, in turn, helped to change the role of women in Britain. The armed forces included Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims from our Commonwealth Nations whose descendants contribute to life in the UK today.

"Pioneers in the First World War also had to innovate and find new solutions; doctors and nurses vastly increased our understanding and use of x-rays, blood transfusions and reconstructive surgery, not to mention the treatment of traumatic shock. 

"And arts and culture reflected the experiences of the generation involved in this conflict thanks to the work of poets, artists and composers that we still enjoy today like Wilfred Owen, J R R Tolkien, Edward Elgar and many more."

For more details of the Silent Soldier initiative, please contact Alison on 07920 806092 or by emailing abates@britishlegion.org.uk.

Dozens of activities will be taking place in Wolverhampton over the coming months to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. They are being organised by the City of Wolverhampton Council and partner organisations across the City and include events, exhibitions, displays and services of remembrance.

More information about the commemorations will be announced in the coming weeks, and the council is developing a dedicated website which will detail activities taking place locally which will enable organisations and individuals to share their events.

Keith Ireland, Managing Director of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "We have a duty to educate today's generation about what the country went through, and it is important that as a City we recognise and thank all those who made sacrifices 100 years ago.

"The Silent Soldier initiative will be a stirring visual way to remind us of the millions of soldiers who returned home from the front, forever changed by the First World War and that they returned to civilian life quietly to have families, careers and create a society for future generations.

"We and our partners are also organising and supporting an extensive programme of events and activities and we hope as many people as possible will get involved."

  • Wolverhampton is a signatory of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community. For details, please visit Help for the Armed Forces community.
     
  • released: Friday 20 April, 2018