A leading Burnley manufacturer is commemorating the centenary of the end of the 1914-1918 First World War, and supporting a number of charities, with the installation of a ‘Tommy’ silhouette from Artist Martin Barraud.
Visitors to VEKA Group will find the six-foot aluminium soldier in pride of place next to the reception building.
VEKA Group MD Dave Jones explains: “‘There But Not There’ is the 2018 Armistice project for the charity Remembered. The charity’s aims are threefold; to inspire communities to purchase and install silhouettes recognising these fallen soldiers, to educate people about their sacrifice, and to raise valuable funds to support people today suffering the hidden wounds of war.
“Funds raised from the sales of the Tommy figures contribute to the work of: The Royal Foundation, Walking With The Wounded, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, Project Equinox: Housing Veterans and Medical Students and Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.
“The project was inspired by Artist Martin Barraud’s 2016 Remembrance art installation of 51 transparent, seated military figures in the Penshurst Church. Now, There But Not There aims to place a representative figure for every name on local war memorials around the country.
“We were keen to contribute to the project and recognise all those who died in battle, particularly the brave soldiers from in and around our local region. VEKA is a major employer for this area, with the majority of our 400-strong workforce living within the BB postcode area. It seemed only fitting to show our pride in the many people from Burnley and surrounding areas that fought in WWI and are serving in the armed forces today.”
Earlier this year, VEKA Group’s Operations Director Paul Armstrong signed the Armed Forces Covenant, officially demonstrating that the company offers fair employment to members of the Armed Forces and recognises the phenomenal value that Serving Personnel, Regular and Reservists, Veterans and military families contribute to the UK and its businesses. In return, VEKA was presented with a Bronze Award Certificate from the Ministry of Defence for pledging to support those who serve.