November 11th, 2018 is the centenary of the Armistice. It is a time to reflect on all those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War. At APS we decided that we should do what we could to help remember the fallen so we offered to get involved with two very different, but equally important, events planned to commemorate their courage.
The people of Tilehurst, Reading, decided to – almost literally – go to town to mark this occasion. They decided to “Turn Tilehurst Red” (their Facebook page is here - Turn Tilehurst Red ). There were poppies painted on almost any flat surface; shops, houses and whole streets were decorated with poppies, photographs and memorabilia of WW1 – it was a real community effort! As a final, showpiece, project, we were asked to turn a 70-year old, 40-metre high water tower poppy-red – easy when you know how! The light-up was covered by BBC Radio Berkshire, Heart FM, LBC and BBC South Today so we reached a lot of people and, hopefully, created something that people can look at and reflect…
On a slightly less grand scale, but no less meaningful, the residents of Little London in Hampshire decided that what was needed was a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made in the war. A silhouette of a WW1 Warhorse was fabricated by Ivanhoe Forge and cut from the sheet steel Unicorn Sheet Metal, both in North Shields in the North East of the UK, and both gave their services free – top men! The design was taken, with the kind permission of the patrons, from the War Horse Memorial statue in Ascot.
The resulting silhouette was fixed to the outside of the local pub – the Plough – and we lit it up. The horse was named Arthur after Arthur Pearce, a resident of Little London who was one of the first to be killed in the war. His relatives still live in the area.
We owe a lot to the soldiers of the Great War and we hope that this will serve as a reminder of that debt.