Thames honours country's heroes

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Thames honours country’s heroes

Three silhouettes of First World War soldiers have been installed at Thames Water sewage works to act as a permanent tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

To mark the centenary anniversary of the war ending, the life-size models will officially be unveiled at the company’s annual remembrance service on November 9.

The company has also illuminated its landmark Tilehurst Water Tower in Reading in red as part of its tribute, which can be seen for miles around as well as by thousands of motorists passing on the nearby M4.

Thames Water has a large ex-services community within its workforce and the silhouettes have been put in place in the entrances of Hockford and Camberley sewage works, and Aldershot’s pumping station – three areas in and around Surrey synonymous with the Armed Forces. 

Alex Hill, field planning specialist who spearheaded the project, said: “At Thames we have a large ex-services community and we’re always looking at new ways we can remember the forces.

“These silhouettes are brilliant because it makes the sacrifice feel more human and almost visual, and everyone who leaves or enters the sites will remember them.

“The sites where they stand also have close ties to the Army, which makes it even more poignant, and I’m delighted we’re honouring the country’s fallen heroes in this way.”

The company’s annual remembrance service, held at Ashford water works in Surrey, will be led by Reverend Chris Swift with chief executive Steve Robertson and members of the leadership team in attendance, along with dozens of employees who are former members of the forces.

The ‘silent silhouettes’ are part of the Royal British Legion’s ‘Thank You’ campaign to remember those who served, sacrificed, rebuilt and changed the nation on the 100 year anniversary of the Armistice.

At the base of the model, the words ‘Lest we forget’ are displayed and they represent the cross-section of society who contributed to the war effort, including British and commonwealth soldiers, RAF, Navy, medical support, factory workers and suffragettes.

Costing £250 each, the money is donated to the Forces charity, with various poppy collections across Thames Water’s offices and operational sites also handed over.

Tilehurst Tower has also been lit up in support of BBC Radio Berkshire’s ‘Turn Tilehurst Red’ campaign which has seen shops, schools, homes and businesses put up poppies, bunting and banners to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Thames Water’s media officer Becky Trotman said: “When I heard about the campaign on the radio I instantly knew that the tower, as Tilehurst’s most iconic landmark, had to be part of it.

“Thanks to the guys at Stanley Electric, who provided and installed the red lights, we’ve turned it into an amazing spectacle which we hope pays fitting tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country.”

Thames honours country’s heroes