Plans to put 'silent soldier' silhouettes on at least 20 railway stations confirmed by Thameslink

Plans to put 'silent soldier' silhouettes on at least 20 of the Arun Valley and South Coast railway stations have been confirmed by Govia Thameslink.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 10:04 am
Updated Monday, 10th September 2018, 1:03 pm
One of the Silent Soldier silhouettes to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day. SUS-180409-091204001

Speaking at Wednesday evening's Chichester council meeting, deputy mayor Trevor Tupper revealed an agreement between Southern Railway and the Community Rail Partnership to put silhouette soldiers on each of the stations on the Arun Valley.

When asked for comment on the plans, Andrew Harrowell, a community relations manager at Govia Thameslink Railway, said the offer is specifically for stations whose community partnership are holding an event 'to commemorate those who gave their lives in the First World War'.

He added: "Discussions are in early stages but we already have interest for at least 20 stations along our south coast and Arun Valley routes."

However, Govia said installing the silhouettes is still subject to identifying a 'specific practical location' at each station.

It said that once this is confirmed, local community partnerships will be able to choose from 'one of seven silhouette designs' supplied by the British Legion but paid for by Govia Thameslink who will also be responsible for their installation.

Councillor Tupper, who is also secretary of the West Sussex Rail Users Association, said at the council meeting that he is 'more involved' with the possible installation of a 'silent soldier' at Chichester Station.

He said: "There will be a silhouette in the booking hall at Chichester.

"Some 20,000 soldiers left Chichester by rail on 1484 (locomotive steam trains) in the First World War and never came back and it is only right that Chichester does something."

Silhouette soldiers have been introduced to commemorate 100 years since the First World War.

On their website, The Royal British Legion said it is inviting the public to take part in a movement to thank the First World War generation who 'served, sacrificed, rebuilt and changed the nation'.

It said the donation of a variety of silhouettes symbolise the communities that took part in the war and 'shaped the nation' as we know it today.

However, police are looking for 'thoughtless thieves' who have been stealing these symbolic memorials over the last week.

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