Tuesday, 16 April 2024
Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Tommy figures return to Penshurst

POIGNANT Tommy soldier figures have returned to Penshurst for the first time in four years to mark the launch of a new Remembrance campaign which will support military veterans during the cost-of-living crisis. 

A range of Tommy figures created by ex-service personnel employed in Royal British Legion Industries’ Aylesford factory, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC), was delivered by the veterans ready for them to go on sale in the stately home’s shop. BBMC employs more than 100 people – 70% of whom are veterans, have a disability or are both.

In 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, 50 Tommy silhouettes were placed in pews at St John the Baptist Church to launch Tommy figures. Since then RBLI’s Tommy has become a national symbol with more than 30,000 figures sold, raising more than £2m in vital funds for the military charity.

Now the figures have returned to the site of their first installation – this time on sale to the public – as veterans in the military charity launch the new Tommy Remembrance product range to raise further funds to support their fellow comrades.

For the upcoming Remembrance period, the team of veterans have created a range of Tommy items including garden Tommies, pins, ties, flags, scarves, ten-inch ‘table top’ Tommies and the five-foot Tommy statues seen in communities throughout Kent. The range will be available in the Penshurst Place gift shop and nearby Forge Stores.

All funds raised through the campaign will go directly to supporting RBLI’s range of services, including their Aylesford village which is home to more than 300 disadvantaged veterans and their families.

RBLI Veterans Relations and Brand Ambassador Steve Hammond, who served in the Falklands War, said:

“We are incredibly proud to see the Tommy return to the place of their first installation in the beautiful Penshurst. The Tommy has become a national symbol of veteran support over the past four years. The figures have been installed in places of community the country over ever since.”

The historic Penshurst Place is the birthplace of Elizabethan poet and soldier Sir Phillip Sidney who died in 1586 after being shot in the leg during the battle of Zutphen in the Netherlands fighting against the Spanish.

Penshurst Place General Manager Ben Thomas said:

“We are incredibly proud to be supporting the veterans at Royal British legion Industries ahead of this year’s Remembrance period by being the first to offer the new Tommy product range here at Penshurst Place. The work they do in providing support to disadvantaged ex-servicemen and women is second to none.”

You can see the new Remembrance range made by RBLI veterans at: www.RBLI.shop.

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