A project which honours servicemen and women – past and present – has been launched by Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion.
In the lead up to this year’s Remembrance Day, the PCC is celebrating the connection between the armed forces and police by asking community groups, residents and businesses to come together by creating and pinning poppies onto Unknown Tommy statues by Thursday 10 November.
A total of six statues have been made by The British Ironwork Centre, funded by the PCC. Statues are outside police stations at Malinsgate, Kidderminster, Malvern, Hereford, Shrewsbury and West Mercia Police’s Headquarters at Hindlip.
Local people are being encouraged to create their own poppy to illustrate what remembrance means to them. Poppies must have a hook on them so they can be placed securely on the Tommy outside their nearest police station. As the statues are outside, poppies will need to be able to withstand the winter weather.
West Mercia Police has a proud history of recognising veterans with 17 ex-servicemen and women currently serving in the force. The PCC also funds Remember Veterans to the tune of £25,000. The scheme helps ex-service personnel integrate into civilian life and prevents them from coming into contact with the criminal justice system.
PCC John Campion said: “Please get involved in our Remembrance Day project, it is a great opportunity to showcase the creativity of communities across West Mercia while paying tribute to servicemen and women who have served or are serving in our armed forces.
“I really want everyone who creates a poppy to symbolise what it means to them – I can’t wait to see the exciting designs that people come up with. Statues are easily accessible across every county in West Mercia so please get creative and pin your poppy by Thursday 10 November.”
Clive Knowles, Chairman of The British Ironwork Centre said: “We are especially proud of the remembrance statues design, as they have been given a completely unique twist.
“We’ve perforated the Unknown Tommy statues, in order to encourage the public to get involved in decorating them with their own poppies. I’m sure when they are fully decorated, they will look breath-taking.”