Campaign honouring First World War soldiers of different faiths gets £2m boost

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Campaign honouring First World War soldiers of different faiths gets £2m boost

‘There But Not There’ initiative, which has backing of the Chief Rabbi, will see silhouettes installed in places of worship

The Alyth Synagogue in north London backs the There But Not There campaign with Tommies and seated silhouettes
The Alyth Synagogue in north London backs the There But Not There campaign with Tommies and seated silhouettes

A campaign to honour First World War soldiers of different faiths in synagogues, mosques, temples and churches has had a £2 million boost from a government fund.

‘There But Not There,’ an initiative led by Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, and backed by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, includes artistic silhouettes places throughout places of worship in the UK.

The silhouettes honour those who served from 1914-18 and have already been installed at the North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth) in Golders Green, where two silhouetted ‘Tommies’ stand guard, while other silhouettes – designed in Perspex and wearing a kippah – have been placed seated among the congregation.

The £2 million in extra roll-out money, from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, will be made available to faith schools, community centres and places of worship in the form of £500 micro-grants, with application accepted until 30 June.

Tommies stand watch over the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey

Mirvis said: “Jew, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh all answered the call of King and country. On the East London Synagogue Roll of Honour, some 680 Jewish names alone mark those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

He added that the campaign was “a wonderful way for everyone to commemorate, educate the next generation and help heal the wounds of those heroes who have served in more recent conflicts”.

Among the other venues to feature the silhouettes so far include Arundel Cathedral, Palmers Green Mosque and Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, the largest Sikh temple in London, as well as a Belfast classroom, a Welsh church and the Indian Army Memorial Room at the Royal Academy Sandhurst.

The British Army during the First World War was one of the most ethnically diverse ever seen, with more than 800,000 Muslim men volunteering.

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