Mid and East Antrim supports poignant ‘Ghost Tommies’ tribute in memory of those lost in Great War

Tuesday 10 April 2018

A number of ‘Ghost Tommies’ will be erected in Mid and East Antrim to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War.

Image of the Ghost Tommies tribute

The poignant sculptures will be placed in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus in memory of all those who lost their lives in the conflict.

The decision followed a motion by Councillor Billy Ashe at Full Council on Monday evening.

He said: “I am delighted our Council is among hundreds of other bodies, communities and organisations to confirm their involvement in what will be a very touching commemoration.

“The ‘Ghost Tommies’ are powerful and striking displays in recognition and in honour of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“The six-foot metal outlines of First World War soldiers have appeared at iconic locations elsewhere in the UK, including the Tower of London and Giant’s Causeway.

“These art installations are a reminder of the 888,246 British and Commonwealth soldiers who died and of those who survived but suffered physical and mental scars.”

At Monday night’s meeting, Elected Members agreed to work with the Royal British Legion on the ‘Ghost Tommies’ initiative.

It is part of the 2018 Armistice Project, There But Not There, which aims to educate all generations, particularly today’s younger generation, to understand what led to the horrific loss of life.

The ‘Tommies’ will also support a new charity called Remembered. Its aim is to raise £15million for Armed Forces and mental health charities to help heal those suffering from the hidden wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder and other lasting legacies of combat, by raising funds for our beneficiary charities.

Battle’s Over Beacons will also be lit across Mid and East Antrim to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

One thousand beacons will be illuminated throughout the UK, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK overseas territories, to commemorate and remember all those who lost their lives or were injured during the Great War.

Elected Members in Mid and East Antrim previously backed a proposal to mark a century from when the guns fell silent, with the beacons symbolising the 'light of hope' that emerged from the darkness of war.

The event, due to take place at 7pm on 11 November 2018, will also honour the huge army of men and women on the home front who, often in dangerous and exhausting conditions, underpinned the war effort.