Wrekin is making a special effort this year to mark the centenary of Armistice Day when the guns fell silent. Many Wrekinians lost their lives in the Great War and countless more returned irreversibly changed and scarred by the conflict.
The Tower of London poppies signalled the start of the First World War commemorations and in the words of General the Lord Dannatt 'There But Not There will be the abiding concluding image'.
Wrekin has been awarded ten seated silhouettes, hand-made by Royal British Legion industries, in a nationwide series of local installations to the fallen by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, as part of a project by the charity Remembered called There But Not There.
The identical perspex spectres represent the equal sacrifice made by all who did not return, regardless of rank or class. The men and boys who made the ultimate sacrifice and now lie along the Western Front will, in the form of these silhouettes, be returned to the school where they lived and learned.
Commemorating the fallen in a simple, but evocative manner is the first aim of There But Not There. Educating all generations, particularly the youth, about why almost a million people from Britain and the Commonwealth made the ultimate sacrifice is the second intention of the project.
The third and arguably most important ambition of the installations is to help heal servicemen and women who are currently suffering from the physical legacies of combat and experiencing the hidden mental wounds of war by raising funds for the following six beneficiary charities:
The Royal Foundation, Combat Stress, Walking with the Wounded, Help for Heroes, Project Equinox and the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.
The transparent design of the figures also symbolises how mental illnesses and anxieties are real, yet often impossible to see.
On Remembrance Sunday the silhouettes will sit among and silently converse with parents, pupils and staff during the school service. The Chapel will be opened for members of the public to visit and view the only There But Not There installation in Shropshire from 12:15-13:15pm.
You can support this project and heal brave members of the Armed Forces in need of help by donating to these worthy beneficiary charities to help us reach our target of £540 in memory of the 54 fallen WWI Wrekinians.