Leeds village pays poignant tribute to heroes of First World War

Piper Rachael Blueman plays at the unveiling of the Tommy tribute.
Piper Rachael Blueman plays at the unveiling of the Tommy tribute.

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 yesterday for the unveiling of a six-feet-tall aluminium silhouette depicting a British Tommy.

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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 yesterday’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.

Residents knitted poppies to help mark the occasion.

Residents knitted poppies to help mark the occasion.

Barwick & Scholes branch standard bearer Martyn Simpson, 56, said: “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.”