Tommy and his creator
Phil 'Blokey' Glanville is a genius with his hands. He has created many items for the benefit of the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal. One very impressive thing was a shooting range with compressed air rifles that he had built himself, they propelled rubber balls at the targets at the end of a netted tunnel.
However, I think with 'Tommy' he has excelled himself and tonight I found out how he had made this amazing, life size, exhibit.
He got a mannequin but as it was over 6 feet tall, and many World War 1 recruits were young men, teenagers most of them, he cut out the middle of the torso to bring it down to around 5 feet 7 inches tall.
The rifle, which I saw last year in a raw state, is white plastic made using a 3D printer.
His coat, webbing, boots and puttees were soaked in a resin which goes off very quickly so he, and his partner Julie, had to be very quick with each stage of dressing him and doing the puttees, with only a small gap between the calves!
The colour of the resin was not good so he then had to paint the whole thing with bronze colour paint.
An amazing feat which I know has taken him many months to complete.
I thought I'd caught Phil and Tommy full length but I cut the bottom off so I've put an extra in which Julie took of me with Tommy so you can see the full length of him.
Robert Binyon wrote 'For the Fallen', a tiny portion of it is recited at our meetings, Last Post events, memorials and commemorations;
"They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We Will Remember Them"
And the Kohima epitath, on a monument in Korea, is often recited also;
"When you go home tell them of us and say.
For your tomorrow, we gave our today"