Set in a glorious Capability Brown landscape and surrounded by the countryside of North Dorset, Milton Abbey is the first location in Dorset to have Installed four six foot high Tommies as part of the There But Not There project.
The silhouettes were designed by artist Michael Barraud to commemorate the fallen and to educate all generations, particularly today’s younger generation, to understand what led to the deaths of 888,246 people from Britain and The Commonwealth.
The Tommies at Milton Abbey are positioned in the north transept of the Abbey around the magnificent Damer Memorial.*The location is particularly fitting because one of the representative figures pays tribute to a particular soldier from the Damer family who died in the First World War.
A surviving relative, Edward Dawson-Damer has confirmed that his great, great uncle 2nd Lieutenant The Hon George Seymour Dawson-Damer (10th Royal Hussars) was killed at Monchy-Le-Preux near Arras in April 1917. Prior to transferring to the 10th Hussar he was an Officer in the Queens Own Dorset Yeomanry (QODY) and served at Gallipoli with them.
Brian Larcher, Development Manager from the Milton Abbey Heritage Trust said, “When Milton Abbey heard about There But Not There we immediately wanted to be involved as a quiet and beautiful location, a former home to Benedictine monks and somewhere people from across the South West could gather and remember the sacrifice of those who took part in the First World War.
“At this iconic North Dorset location we have very close links to the forces with Blandford Military base close by and there are long associations with families, residents from nearby villages and visitors to the Abbey who come here to remember those who have served and gone before them. With the installation of four six foot high Tommies in the space around the stunning Damer Memorial inside the Abbey we are able to offer a space for reflection and contemplation.
In fact There But Not There sits particularly well with the Benedictine edicts of Service and Community. In serving others we meet Christ and grow in love of each other: “People are not to pursue what they judge best for themselves, but instead, what they judge is best for others.” And Community: We grow as individuals through a life of inter-dependence. “They should each try to be first to show respect to the other, supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behaviour”.
The Tommies have also been designed to help heal all those suffering from the hidden wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder and other lasting legacies of combat, by raising funds for our beneficiary charities.