There but not there to remember

Wednesday 19 September 2018

There but not there
There but not there

Every town and village in Inverclyde will join a national campaign to remember the fallen from the First World War.

For, Inverclyde Council’s policy and resources committee agreed to support the ‘There but not there’ campaign by purchasing and installing seven ‘Tommies’.

The Tommies, specially designed sculptures depicting the outline of soldiers, will be placed in each of the towns and villages of Inverclyde at or close to existing war memorials


The council will purchase seven for installation in Greenock, Gourock, Inverkip , Kilmacolm, Port Glasgow, Wemyss Bay and Quarriers Village as part of the council’s remembrance commemorations in November.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, Leader of the Council and chair of the policy and resources committee, said: “This year marks a significant occasion as we remember 100 years since the guns fell silent in the First World War.  The campaign ‘There but not there’ provides a haunting and moving memorial to the fallen soldiers of that war where so many lives were lost.

“It is right that every community in Inverclyde gets the chance to be involved in this campaign and to remember the sacrifices made then and today by our armed services.”

Inverclyde’s veterans champion, Councillor Gerry Dorrian, said: “Inverclyde and our towns and villages have long associations with the armed services.  As we mark 100 years since the end of first war and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, these are significant occasions worthy of our commemoration and celebration.

“The installation of the Tommies in every town and village across Inverclyde will connect all of Inverclyde’s communities together to remember.

Join the Royal Air Force - Royal Air Force - 1918 - 1996.100.18 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock.
Join the Royal Air Force
1918 - 1996.100.18
©McLean Museum
and Art Gallery, Greenock.

“As well as the Tommies, the council has also joined forces with the RAF cadets to celebrate 100 years since the creation of the RAF.”

Inverclyde Council, as part of the annual remembrance commemorations on Sunday 11 November 2018, will be joining the national ‘Battle’s over’ commemorations starting at dawn with a piper at the iconic Free French Memorial on Lyle Hill.

Commemorations and wreath laying will take place throughout the day.

In the evening, Lyle Hill will be the focus again as Inverclyde welcomes the French consul to remember  the Free French navy stationed in Greenock during the second world war.

As the last post is played by a bugler, the beacon at Lyle Hill will then be lit joining beacons across the UK while church bells across the area ring out to mark the end of hostilities in the First World War.

The Battle’s Over programme for Inverclyde includes:

  • 06:00 – Pipers invited to play Battle’s O’er before dawn
  • 11:00 - Remembrance services in the usual manner at each location
  • 18:40 – Lyle Hill commemoration at Free French Memorial
  • 18:55 - The Last Post to be played by bugler at WW1 beacon sites.
  • 19:00 - Lighting of WW1 beacons – Lyle Hill, Greenock
  • 19:05 - Ringing of bells throughout churches and cathedrals in celebration of the end of the war.

The Tommies are silhouette figures depicting lone soldiers and are part of a national campaign, ‘There but not there’.

The campaign seeks to commemorate those who died in the First World War, educate all generations to understand what led to the deaths of 888,246 British and Commonwealth service personnel and heal today’s veterans who are suffering from mental and physical wounds.

The Tommies and their commemorative packaging are made by the Royal British Legion Industries by ex-service veterans employed by RBLI.

The cost of individual Tommies is £750 each with a small additional cost for installation.  Inverclyde Council’s policy and resources committee agreed to purchase and install seven in total which would mean one for each of the towns and villages of Inverclyde sited at or close to existing war memorials.

RAF 100
On 1 April 2018, the Royal Air Force celebrated its 100th birthday. RAF 100 is a yearlong celebration of the contribution made by the RAF over the past 100 years and looking forward to the next 100.

Inverclyde, the Council is working closely with the RAF cadets to support a fundraising ball in Greenock Town Hall which is expected to be held in December but, due to the logistics involved, may be in 2019 before the end of the RAF 100 year end in March.

The council will incorporate an RAF 100 theme with the musical theme focusing on flight as a backdrop to the performance at the annual fireworks show held on Saturday 3 November 2018.

The event, held in Battery Park at the location of the slipway used by the RAF for seaplanes, is free entry. As part of the support for RAF 100, the RAF cadets will be encouraged to use this as a fundraising and awareness raising opportunity with associated publicity supported by the Council.


Two initiatives will take place locally to directly support Poppy Scotland with the Ginger the Horse statue in Greenock wearing a large poppy in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday and the Lyle Hill cross of Lorraine memorial will be lit red to show support for Poppy Scotland.

It is also proposed that the Council makes use of local projection equipment to screen footage supplied by Poppy Scotland onto the wall space at Cowan’s Corner in Greenock in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday.


Page last updated: 19 September 2018