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A reflection: Northampton Mayor unveils World War I Centenary Memorial

It’s been almost two weeks since the Sunday that marked a century since the guns fell silent on the Western front, bringing an end to four long years of conflict and world war. In 1919, King George V marked Armistice Day with an announcement that called for two minutes of silence, remembering the millions who gave their lives between 1914 and 1918.

“All locomotions should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.” (King George V, 1919).

Since this day, otherwise known as Remembrance Sunday, millions around the world pay their tributes and respects at war memorials. Many of the memorials are covered in waves of red poppies and engraved with so many names that we can only see if we are up close.

On the crisp day of November 11th 2018, a clear blue sky shone over Northampton’s Abington Park to reveal the huge amount of local faces who arrived to pay their respects. The mayor of Northampton, Councilor Tony Ansell, unveiled a World War I memorial of a soldier silhouette to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day. A short service was given by Monsignor Tony McDermott, the Mayor’s Chaplain which included the Last Post, a two minute silence and the Reveille, after which the Mayor laid a wreath at the memorial silhouette.

The crowd eventually disappeared and the silhouette solider kneeled there alone, with his helmet in one hand and a gun in the other, looking down at the marked grave below him. A reminder of the sacrifices and losses that the first World War brought.

Metal Craft Industries are very proud to have been commissioned by Northampton Borough Council to manufacture the silhouette of this soldier.