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'Silent soldier' silhouette comes to Leyland's Worden Park as a tribute to First World War heroes

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A silent soldier silhouette has taken up position in Worden Park, Leyland, as part of South Ribble Council's Centenary Programme to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War.

In this centenary year since the end of the First World War, the figure stands in the park's Walled Garden as a poignant tribute to those who didn’t return home from conflict - and to those whose lives would never be the same again.

A silent soldier silhouette has taken up position in Worden Park, Leyland, as part of South Ribble Council's Centenary Programme to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War (Photos: Ian Robinson)

A silent soldier silhouette has taken up position in Worden Park, Leyland, as part of South Ribble Council's Centenary Programme to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War (Photos: Ian Robinson)

At the end of the war, when soldiers returned to the UK, they were given a railway ticket to their home station.

From there, they were on their own – and could be seen across the country, walking across fields and along roads, returning to their families.

The silent soldier symbolizes this with his head pointing downwards in reflection.

Coun Alan Ogilvie, Armed Forces Champion at South Ribble Council, said: “The Walled Garden in Worden Park is a great location for the soldier as it is a peaceful area for contemplation.

Front row: Howard Anthony, Partnerships Manager at SRBC; Brandon Atkinson, Regeneration Apprentice at SRBC; Councillor Alan Ogilvie, Armed Forces Champion at South Ribble Borough Council. Back row: Members of the Brothers of Charity walled garden crew; and staff from the charity

Front row: Howard Anthony, Partnerships Manager at SRBC; Brandon Atkinson, Regeneration Apprentice at SRBC; Councillor Alan Ogilvie, Armed Forces Champion at South Ribble Borough Council. Back row: Members of the Brothers of Charity walled garden crew; and staff from the charity

“This is a fitting and poignant tribute for us to be involved with.

“It is important that we remember the sacrifices those brave soldiers made, 100 years on from the end of the First World War.

"I am extremely proud that South Ribble Council has organised a fitting Centenary Programme to commemorate this historic anniversary.”

The Walled Garden in Worden Park was restored as a result of a partnership with Brothers of Charity Services, who manage the gardens as a horticultural social enterprise.

The silent soldier

The silent soldier

It has since offered an area of peace and tranquility to visitors. The Walled Garden is a valued leisure and learning resource for local families, schools and colleges, whilst also offering adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to learn about growing vegetables, cutting flowers and plants.

Matt Hoyles, Service Manager, Community Engagement at The Brothers of Charity Services, said: “It’s an honour to be involved in South Ribble’s Centenary Programme.

"The Silent Soldier is such a moving reminder of the sacrifices that were made during the First World War, and we are pleased visitors to the park are able to use the serenity of The Walled Garden to reflect on this.”

The Silent Soldier is one in a series of tributes planned during 2018 in South Ribble’s Centenary Programme that includes the planting of poppy meadows, memorial poppies and recognition of Corporal John McNamara, who was awarded the Victoria Cross.