Controversial ‘Abandoned Soldier’ sculpture is installed at the NMA, just in time for book/campaign launch

After weeks of uncertainty, the ‘Abandoned Soldier’ statue has been safely transported to its temporary home at Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum (NMA).  Those who moved  it  are members of 55 Off Platform Repair Company, part of 104 Force  Support Battalion REME based in Tidworth.  They managed the transportation of the 15-foot tall sculpture from London to the NMA at Alrewas, Staffs., where it will be on display during the launch of the poetry book of the same name on November 6th.

The media has also started to take an interest with local news and radio running stories. We hope this will start to give  the project the coverage it needs , people become aware and opinions are voiced.

The facebook group is continuing to grow and has now gained support from over 600 people.

 The Project would like to thank everybody for their help in getting TAS to the NMA

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The Abandoned Soldier Is Finally On The Move!

The Abandoned Soldier statue will finally be moved from James Napier’s London
Studio and transported to the National Memorial Arboretum on Monday 1st
November.

Those moving it are members of 55 Off Platform Repair Company, part of
104 Force Support Battalion REME based in Tidworth.

TAS will be arriving at 11am and will be sited on the Millennium Avenue
for the duration of its stay.

The Abandoned Soldier Project would like to thank everyone involved who
has made this journey possible.

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Book pre-order (for the NMA launch) deadline 27.10.2010

The deadline for book orders is this Weds  27.10.2010.  There
will only be limited stock available at the National Memorial
Arboretum on Saturday 6th November, so if you want to be sure of
getting a copy (which you can then have signed!) please let Helen know.

helen@silverwoodbooks.co.uk

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Transport worries ease to give massive boost to the project.

Today the project received some great news – We now have transport to take TAS to the National Memorial Arboretum.  Further details will be released as soon as we have them confirmed but to say we are over the moon is an understatement.

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Major-General Tim Cross CBE weighs in on behalf of Abandoned Soldiers everywhere

 

  • Outspoken critic of government military policy backs ‘Abandoned Soldier’ campaign
  • Sculpture created to highlight plight of forgotten veterans is itself decaying and forgotten
  • Poetry book launch aims to reignite debate and help those physically and mentally scarred in recent conflicts


20.10.2010

The ‘Abandoned Soldier’ campaign, centred on the controversial sculpture which may or may not be housed at Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum (see below) received a boost when acclaimed military expert Major General Tim Cross CBE (retired) spoke out in its support.  Cross was the most senior British officer involved in post-war planning after the Iraq war, and has been outspoken in his criticisms of US and UK foreign policy.

“There can’t be many people around who aren’t keenly aware of the sacrifices that our young men and women have made, and still are making in places like Iraq and Afghanistan,” commented Major-General Cross. “For most of us the obvious scars are the returning coffins, and the stories and pictures of the lost limbs and the physical rehabilitation that goes on. What is less obvious are the mental, psychological and spiritual scars borne by many who, on the face of it, return unharmed but who carry deep inside the hurt and pain of what they have seen and heard; all too often they are the forgotten casualties. Struggling to come to terms with all that they have endured, some are locked in loneliness and depression; they too need our care and commitment.”

Eirwen Rogers, one of the organisers of the campaign to have the ‘Abandoned Soldier’ statue bronzed for posterity and permanently installed at the National Memorial Arboretum, commented on the difficulties of finding a permanent home for a memorial that potentially embarrasses the authorities: “This statue belongs at the NMA, but because it is a memorial to the living, it is considered controversial. We will have it here for the launch of the accompanying book of poetry, but beyond that time its future is uncertain – much like that of the servicemen it represents.  At the moment we can’t even get a definite commitment on how the statue will be transported to the site!”

It is hoped that the addition of Major-General Cross’s support will galvanise some commitment to action and hopefully also increase public awareness of the campaign.   Cross himself concludes “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.”

 

About ‘Abandoned Soldier’ – the book of poetry

‘The Abandoned Soldier’ is a new book of poetry being launched on November 6th at the NMA to support the campaign, written by Llandrindod Wells based Mark Christmas.  Himself an ex-serviceman and Psychology student, Christmas says ‘Abandonment is one of the worst words in the dictionary when you are involved with it in any context. Remember the dead, let the living not be forsaken in your memory’. Advance copies of Mark Christmas’ book are available now from Silverwood Books – contact the project using the details below.

theabandonedsoldier@hotmail.com

Book enquiries

publisher info@silverwoodbooks.co.uk

The Abandoned Soldier team would like to thank copywriter David Tyler of Guru Communications (www.gurucomms.co.uk) who has given his time and experitise to help us with our press activities

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TAS Update

Things have been a bit slow on the media front up until now, but we have had some interest from National Newspapers and TV Stations over the last few days so our mood at the project has been uplifted.
We have made contact with some of the original Abandoned Soldiers who took part in the BBC documentary and we hope that they will support us in the new campaign.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/power_to_the_people/6613759.stm

There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the moment so  keep watching this space!

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The Abandoned Soldier Facebook Group

Since the news of the book & statue re-launch, The Abandoned Soldier Facebook group has started to pick up and over 250 people have joined. Its not a massive amount of people granted but support is growing.  A few of the original “Abandoned Soldiers” have joined and their input is very much appreciated.

However there is still no news from the media. I have to say I am somewhat annoyed by this as the press like to fill their papers with stories on the same subjects that we are trying to raise awareness about.  I am surprised that the BBC haven’t picked up on this story (after I have sent them several emails) especially as they commissioned TAS in the first place. I would of though they would be interested in its fate?

As to TAS’s fate, we are still none the wiser on its future. We are hoping that a permanent home will be found at the National Memorial Arboretum as we feel this is the perfect place for it to be sited.  It is not raising too much awareness gathering dust in James’s studio.

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