Britain, more than any other nation in the world, has always been an amalgamation of many different faiths and cultures; with over 3 million soldiers from across the Empire and Commonwealth serving alongside the British Army during the First World War. There But Not There offers an innovative way to pay tribute to all the brave men and women, from all corners of the world, who have served in the British Armed Forces and also recognises those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and security our country. That’s what this year’s centenary is all about, and that’s why I am very proud indeed to support this inspiring project.
Major Muhammad MBE – Chair, Armed Forces Muslim Association (AFMA)
I am honoured to be asked to play a small role in such a powerful commemoration. For me, the perspex tommy silhouettes portray the most moving and fitting reminder; that whilst hundreds of thousands of soldiers lost their lives a century ago, they will always continue to remain quietly present in our hearts and minds. This project is not only healing for our veterans, but educational for our youngest generation, contributing to their emotional understanding and respect for our fallen.
Tommy knew about materials. And an early and primitive material was Perspex.
As a small boy I knew Perspex as the blister thru which our Spitfire heroes saw their war.
And that same; crystal clear; safer & better than glass - it made millions of the artefacts of our lives.
Remarkably it is still with us now and when I saw it in an ethereal role as a still and silent silhouette in a church pew, it was both the appropriate material and fitting in it’s silent perfect message - a brilliant clarity and a telling outline. No placard, no noise, not one word needed.
We all knew that silhouette, it will never fade - it was exactly that: There But Not There.
Sir Kenneth Grange, Industrial Designer
Throughout the world I see the impact of war and conflict and I am keenly aware of the effect this has on the mental health of some of our Service personnel. I am proud that in the UK we are engaged in working to help them in this field and I really believe that the There But Not There project is a moving way of getting everybody who sees it to understand what veterans are facing.
Nearly half a million men served at sea during the First World War and some 40,000 lost their lives with the seabed as their last resting place. Additionally a further 15,000 souls were lost from the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets together with nearly 10,000 Royal Naval personnel killed in the trenches. Whilst Jutland was indecisive, it meant that Germany could never put to sea in strength again and the naval blockade of German seaports ensured that ultimately and inevitably they would lose the war. As a maritime nation these losses were felt up and down the country and the silhouettes will ensure our seafaring heroes are honoured in this most moving of commemorations.
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE ADC DL
“I do commend this creative and imaginative project very warmly. I hope that many churches will want to engage with this during this next year. As we commemorate the end of the First World War it is vital that we remember and this project allows us to do so in a way that will engage with the imagination and be a real exercise in remembrance.”
The Most Reverend & Right Hon. The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Help for Heroes is honoured to be involved in this inspiring and innovative project which is a poignant tribute to all those who lost their lives in WWI. The support from There But Not There will help us look to the future by enabling Help for Heroes to empower more Veterans to reach their potential and regain their purpose. We are founded on the belief that those who put their lives on the line for us deserve a second chance at life and this project serves as the perfect focal point to reflect on this sacrifice and do something about it.
Mel Waters – Chief Executive, Help for Heroes
I served in the British Army and was wounded whilst on operations in Afghanistan, in the same incident, a soldier was tragically killed. Over the past nine years since then I have faced challenges, and a huge motivation to get through these periods has been to remember my fallen colleagues and the lives they lost in sacrifice for their country. There But Not There remembers the Fallen from WWI but the powerful impact of the project extends so much further and allows us to remember, respect and pay tribute to Service personnel who have lost their lives since then. I am incredibly proud to be associated with it and know that it will help families and communities the length and breadth of the UK who have lost someone at any stage in our Military history”.
This was my father’s war, and the installation moved me to tears
It is very fitting that there is going to be such an extraordinary installation throughout the UK, honouring the Fallen from WWI one hundred years on from the end of that terrible war, with its huge loss of life. People had their futures stripped away, leaving whole families devastated. We must remember those sacrifices and this is is a moving and iconic way to recognise the brave, noble and selfless role our Service personnel played. I am honoured that I have been invited to support this powerful memorial.