The Silent Soldier (see picture) has taken up his position in the walled garden at Worden Park in Leyland.
The soldier stands five feet tall and is constructed from black Perspex. South Ribble Borough Council has sponsored the silent soldier artwork; joining the nation in remembering the fallen heroes during 2018 – one hundred years on from the end of the First World War.
The Silent Soldier stands as a poignant tribute to those who didn’t return home, and to those whose lives would never be the same again. At the end of the war, when soldiers returned to the UK, they were given a railway ticket to their home station. From there, they were on their own – and could be seen across the country, walking across fields and along roads, returning to their families. The Silent Soldier symbolizes this with his head pointing downwards in reflection.
Councillor Alan Ogilvie, Armed Forces Champion at South Ribble Borough Council said: “The Walled Garden in Worden Park is a great location for the soldier as it is a peaceful area for contemplation.
“This is a fitting and poignant tribute for us to be involved with.
“It is important that we remember the sacrifices those brave soldiers made, 100 years on from the end of the First World War. I am extremely proud that South Ribble Borough Council has organised a fitting Centenary Programme to commemorate this historic anniversary.”
The Walled Garden in Worden Park was restored as a result of a partnership with Brothers of Charity Services, who manage the gardens as a horticultural social enterprise. It has since offered an area of peace and tranquility to visitors. The Walled Garden is a valued leisure and learning resource for local families, schools and colleges, whilst also offering adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to learn about growing vegetables, cutting flowers and plants.
Matt Hoyles, Service Manager, Community Engagement at The Brothers of Charity Services, said: “It’s an honour to be involved in South Ribble’s Centenary Programme. The Silent Soldier is such a moving reminder of the sacrifices that were made during the First World War, and we are pleased visitors to the park are able to use the serenity of The Walled Garden to reflect on this.”
The Silent Soldier is one in a series of tributes planned during 2018 in South Ribble’s Centenary Programme that includes the planting of poppy meadows, memorial poppies and recognition of Corporal John McNamara, who was awarded the Victoria Cross.