The ‘Abandoned Soldier’ statue, modelled on the face of a British ex-soldier, was originally created for a 2007 BBC TV programme made by journalist Tim Samuels as part of the 3-part series ‘Power to the People’, which aimed to give a voice to various disenfranchised groups. ‘The Battle of Trafalgar Square’ saw a ‘platoon’ of ex-servicemen – many with shocking and moving stories to tell – install the striking sculpture in front of Nelson’s Column.
After the programme, TAS made an appearance on News night and the front page of the Independent.
TAS was found a home at Combat Stress’s Tyrwhitt House but this was short-lived and TAS returned to James Napier’s London Art Studio where it remained until plans to find it a permanent home and raise awareness were re-ignited when Welsh ex serviceman and Poet Mark Christmas approached James to ask if he could use the image for his book of poetry ,also called The Abandoned Soldier.
Mark and James decided that it was time TAS came out of the Cellar and planned its move to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in time for the book launch.
Since its arrival at the NMA the project have been tirelessly raising awareness of the statue and what it represents. It has appeared in the Independent On Sunday, Central News and various radio programmes. TAS moved to the Firing Line Museum of The Welsh Soldier at Cardiff Castle in early February and it was hoped to go to Edinburgh Castle next but they have rejected our request. We are uncertain of TAS’s next home but we are determined to keep TAS out of the cellar!
The project also has a growing number of supporters with over 1,000 on their Face book group.
Among supporters is Maj-Gen Tim Cross CBE, who recently came out in support of the campaign, saying: “The Abandoned Soldier Project is a wonderful example of a determination by those who do care to do something about those who desperately need hope, love and restoration. I commend it unreservedly.”
Find out more about the Project On Face Book