The haunting 1000ft tall silhouette of a World War One soldier or ‘Tommy’ has been projected onto the Rock of Gibraltar as part of centenary commemorations marking the end of the Great War.
The projection is part of the There But Not There campaign and is the largest ever of its kind on the Rock.
The campaign began in February, led by former Chief of the General Staff, General the Lord Dannatt and has raised over £2.5 million for The Royal Foundation and armed forces charities through the sale of either six foot tall or 10 inch Tommies.
The project was started by parishioners in the quiet village church of Penshurst in Kent. Six months on from those humble beginnings and over 1,000 six foot tall Tommy installations have appeared in cities and spaces across the globe, including: London; Edinburgh; Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland; Times Square, New York; The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco; Washington D.C.; Toronto; Ottawa and now Gibraltar.
Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar said: “Since the start of the 18th century, the Rock has been besieged on 14 occasions; the Corps of Royal Engineers was formed here and casualties from the Battle of Trafalgar are buried here.
“We lost local men in the trenches of the Somme during the First World War at a time when there were over 40 US Navy ships and 5,000 American naval personnel based here.
“In recent decades, Gibraltar has provided logistic support for British military operations in the Falklands, Libya and Iraq. We continue to host Royal Navy ships and RAF aircraft whilst soldiers of our locally-recruited Regiment are serving on active operations today.
“Gibraltarians are all very aware of the sacrifices made by our forebears – both military and civilian. We live our lives surrounded by stark reminders of Britain’s military history and we honour those who sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.
“We will remember them.”
There But Not There Patron, Lord Dannatt said: “The poppies at the Tower of London captured the start of the national WWI commemoration – There But Not There will be the abiding concluding image.”
He continued: “In buying the Tommies and silhouettes, people are not only commemorating the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers, they are also supporting the heroes of today, with all profits going to charities supporting the armed forces community.”
To learn more about the There But Not There campaign, visit: www.therebutnotthere.org.uk