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Church in west Suffolk to receive 10 ‘There But Not There’ silhouettes

PUBLISHED: 12:37 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:37 29 August 2018

The silhouettes represents those who lost their lives in the First World War. Picture: MARTIN BARRAUD for There But Not There

The silhouettes represents those who lost their lives in the First World War. Picture: MARTIN BARRAUD for There But Not There

martin barraud for There But Not There

The historic church in the west Suffolk village of Stradishall has pulled off a coup after being awarded 10 life-size sitting silhouettes as part of the nationwide “There But Not There” campaign.

It’s thought to be one of very few areas in the county which has gained the right to have the displays in their community to commemorate the ending of the First World War and a series of events are being planned prior to them being set up.

Members of the Parachocial Church Council bid for the silhouettes through the Army Forces Covenant Fund and they are due to arrive next month.

Jane Helliwell, the PCC secretary, has now launched an appeal for residents to give any information about their relatives who may have been involved in the conflict.

“We want people in Stradishall to research their own ancestor to find out what they were doing between 1914-1918 and to write up their findings which will be displayed in the church with photos and artifacts,” she said.

“We are so excited to have got the 10 pieces to put on display.”

It would co-incide with a commemoration being held in the church in The Street from Saturday, November 3, through to Sunday, November 11 - Aristice Day - which is when the silhouettes will be on display.

Two workshops are being held in Kedington Library run by volunteers from the Haverhill branch of the Suffolk Family History Group, on Thursday, September 6, at 7.30pm, and Tuesday, September 11, at 6.30pm, and to book a place contact Jane on 01440 820095.

Meanwhile, Hundon resident and historian Jock Whitehouse, who wrote a definitive historical account of RAF Stradishall, is gathering material for a display to commemorate the beginning of the RAF in 1918.

Other events planned include a Poppy Workshop in the church for families and individuals to cut and paint plastic poppies to be displayed alongside those already being made out of paper by the children at the Happy Days Nursery, in the village.

A Benefice Service is being held in the church on Sunday, November 4, at 10am, and it is hoped local cadets will take part with other locally retired servicemen and women while on Sunday, November 11, at 12.30pm, there will be a Prayer Service in the church followed by the ringing of the bells to coincide with the National Ringing of Church Bells.

And a date has still be be confirmed for a talk by a local historian and expert on the First World War graves.

“There But Not There” is the defining centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 war, installed where the men and women came from across the country, back in the communities they left behind.

The project aims to commemorate, educate and heal – the three aims of the charity.

To commemorate those who died in the First World War through installations of silhouettes wherever there is a Roll of Honour; to educate all generations, particularly today’s younger generation, born nearly 100 years after the outbreak of the conflict, to understand what led to the deaths of 888,246 British and Commonwealth service personnel; and to heal today’s veterans who are suffering from the mental and physical wounds of their service by raising substantial funds through sales of the silhouettes.

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