A Sunderland school has marked its support for the Royal British Legion ‘Silent Soldier’ campaign in remembrance of those who fought and died in the First World War.
Benedict Biscop C.E. Academy has installed a near life-size ‘Tommy’ silent silhouette within its prominent garden entrance, kindly donated by the Doxford team at EDF Energy.
The aim is to raise awareness of those who fought in the War and educate children, their families and friends, and the local community about the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.
EDF Energy initially secured the silent silhouette to poignantly remember the fundraising and support work undertaken all year round by EDF Energy employees for local veterans’ and armed forces charities.
Marking support from EDF Energy’s Doxford team for the national remembrance campaign was the brainchild of Paul Davis, a telephony operations manager at EDF Energy, who served 15 years in the Armed Forces.
Paul said: “We wanted to help educate younger generations about the sacrifices made which is why we have teamed up with Benedict Biscop C.E. Academy, who have proudly displayed ‘Tommy’ at the entrance of the school, where all can see it.”
As part of his role, Paul, from Durham, also helps to co-ordinate a forces’ support network across all the company’s sites and along with other former military colleagues organises a number of special fundraising activities for various ex-services charities in the North East.
The school hopes that the silent silhouette will generate a good response from the local community in terms of raising awareness about those who fought in the World War as well as understanding and respecting the parents of some school children who are currently serving in the Armed Forces.
Sarah Armstrong, Headteacher at Benedict Biscop C.E. Academy, added: “We’re very proud of our heritage and we feel privileged that EDF Energy’s Doxford team thought of us for the silent silhouette donation.
“It’s really important that our children, and their wider families and friends, understand the reasons behind ‘Tommy’ and we’re looking forward to including the historical context and meaning within classroom teaching.
“We are placing it right at the front of school so everyone can see it as we want to encourage conversation and discussion about what the silhouette represents.”