Life-size Tommies installed to commemorate First World War centenary

Next month marks 100 years since the end of the First World War so a group representing the Parish Council and the churches in Alderley Edge has come together to ensure that the village commemorates it well.

The group has created a tribute to all those in the village who gave their lives in that war, and at the same time raised over £2500 to help veterans of more recent armed conflicts.

Back in August the Parish Council launched an appeal to purchase a six foot silhouette of a World War I soldier, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the Great War.

That appeal was so successful that, through the generosity of residents and organisations in the village there will be four Tommies in Alderley Edge on Remembrance Day this year.

Two are already installed at the War Memorial, with a further one at the bottom of Macclesfield Road. The fourth figure has been purchased by the Union Club which has strong associations with the War. Indeed the village learnt of its first casualty through a letter from a member serving in France to friends in the Club. In addition to displaying the Tommy figure the club plans to have a plaque made to commemorate its past members of all wars.

Additionally, there are a further five seated figures inside St Philip & St James Church and together with the large poppies on the lampposts along London Road they form a humbling sight.

The There but not There charity appeal has been a worldwide campaign to mark the Centenary of the 1918 Armistice. Alderley Edge is one of a small number of locations across Cheshire officially recognised as having an installation.

One of the organisers, Parish Councillor Geoff Hall noted that "this initiative links communities across the country, and Alderley Edge has raised over £2,500 for the charity. This fundraising has not only made for a striking display in the village, but will also benefit members of our armed forces who have made more recent sacrifices on our behalf."

This year there will be a minute's silence at 11am on Saturday 10th November on London Road when all businesses and residents are being encouraged to observe this by taking a moment to stand on the footpath in a moment of quiet contemplation.

On Sunday 11th November the Remembrance Day Parade will start from the Festival Hall at 2.15pm and proceed down London Road, followed by the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the War Memorial, led by the Royal Legion. The Remembrance Service at St Philip & St James Church will follow at 3pm and the Union Club will be open for refreshments after the service.

Inside the church, the Alderley History Group has a WW1 and WW2 display featuring news at home and abroad from the two wars. Local historian Michael Scaife has written a biography of each of the 72 WW1 soldiers named on the war memorial. These are on display alongside paintings depicting scenes from the war by local artist Peter Pound.

First World War


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Donald Henderson
Tuesday 30th October 2018 at 4:40 pm
Wouldn't it be lovely if we could stop the traffic for that minute on Saturday.
Rosemary Taggart
Tuesday 30th October 2018 at 4:48 pm
Thank you for informative article
Bill Pilkington
Tuesday 30th October 2018 at 10:16 pm
I read your article re the remembrance services in Alderley Edge.

A remembrance service will be held in the chapel located in Priest Lane,

Mottram St Andrew on Sunday 11th November to mark the centenary of the ending of the first world war.

The service will commence at 10.30 am and the two minutes silence will be observed at 11 o/clock exactly 100 years after the guns fell silent on the Western Front when we will remember all those who gave their lives on behalf of their country, especially the men from our small village community.

The service will be led by the Reverend Sue Swires.

A six foot high British Tommy made by Men in Sheds has been erected outside the chapel.

A photograph of the British Tommy is shown above.
Alan Brough
Monday 5th November 2018 at 10:46 am
With reference to the life-size "Tommy" located on the traffic island at the junction of Macclesfield Road / London Road - could there be a better position for him?

I was saddened to see him fixed to a leaning traffic sign with a cycle lock and cable tie and wondered if this treats him with the respect and dignity he deserves.