Tommy sculpture to be installed in South Shields in tribute to those who served in First World War
A towering figure of a Great War British soldier is to be erected in South Shields in a permanent tribute to those who fought in the global conflict.
Standing over 9ft high, the sculpture is intended as a beacon to the bravery of the nation’s past and current armed forces – and a symbol to young people of sacrifices made.
The silhouette-style steel statue, which will be placed on a plinth on land at Haven Point, close to South Shields’ swimming pool, was originally part last year’s national There But Not There art project.
The installation featured mainly Perspex figures which represented fallen British and Commonwealth First World War ‘Tommy’ soldiers within communities they left behind.
Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: “Last year, a number of Perspex silhouettes of Tommy soldiers were displayed across the borough as part of the commemorations to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
“However, the Armed Forces Forum was keen to have a permanent memorial installed to honour the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“South Tyneside has a proud record of supporting its Armed Forces and last year earned prestigious Gold Award status in the Ministry of Defence's Employer Recognition Scheme.
“This statue is yet another way that we can place on record our thanks to past and current members of the Armed Forces and encourage our younger generations to never forget the sacrifices made so that they can enjoy freedom today.
“I am grateful to BT South Tyneside who provided the funding for this project.”
The scheme’s go-ahead was given after planners in South Tyneside granted permission for the installation.
A report into the application said the placing of the statue was in keeping with the character and appearance of the area, which is designated a public open space.
It found other signs, monuments and examples of public artwork were already in the vicinity and said it would not have an unacceptable visual impact on its surroundings.
The proposal was also found to comply with all relevant local and national planning policy.
South Tyneside Council says the 100th anniversary of Peace Day in 1919, which celebrate the end of World War One, will see the unveiling of a plaque by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Norman Dick.