160 councils across the United Kingdom have – so far – registered their support for the World War One centenary commemoration project, There But Not There…

The support from local authorities has been driven, in the main, by members of the public calling on their local representatives to back the campaign, launched just six months ago.

To date, some 1000 six foot tall Tommies have been sold, with cities all over the world purchasing the life size soldier silhouettes to commemorate their own war dead.

New York, San Francisco, St Louis, Ottawa, Toronto and even Gibraltar have all purchased Tommies in support. Last week, Gibraltar projected a 1000ft tall Tommy onto the famous Rock to show solidarity.

Individuals wishing to commemorate their own loved one have been by far and away the most supportive however, with over 60,000 10 inch Perspex versions of the Tommies sold.

In total, the campaign has raised nearly £3 million for armed forces charities, including; The Royal Foundation, Walking With The Wounded, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation and Project Equinox: Housing Veterans.

The overwhelming influx from members of the public inspired There But Not There Patron, General The Lord Dannatt, to write personally to every council leader in the UK asking for their support. Despite the former head of the army’s pleas, many councils have ignored or refused to host an installation.

Rowley Gregg MC, Director at There But Not There said: “Since we launched we have been overwhelmed by the level of support from individual members of the public who have dug deep to buy their own 10 inch Tommy – commemorating WW1 and supporting the armed forces charities of today.

“We have also seen huge support from businesses, local community groups and even cities across the globe, but it is true that despite best efforts to engage with them, many local authorities and councils have refused to host Tommy installations.

“Some councils have been incredible. Driffield in East Yorkshire being one example, where they have erected a hugely powerful installation in support, but it is disappointing that more haven’t come on-board. I just feel for the many thousands that have contacted us asking to see one.”

Gregg, 34, from London, was awarded the Military Cross for exemplary gallantry during Operation Panthers Claw in Afghanistan in 2009. The former army Captain led his platoon on counter-insurgency missions to clear Taliban strongholds and to find improvised explosive devices designed to blow-up vehicles carrying British troops.

His platoon suffered the highest number of casualties in the battle group, with only eight of the original 35 that started the tour finishing it. In total, three were killed and a further 27 were seriously wounded or injured.

A soldier for forty years, concluding his military career as Chief of the General Staff – the head of the British Army – Lord Dannatt was Constable of the Tower of London until July 2016. As such, in 2014, he oversaw the iconic Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation where 888,246 ceramic poppies were installed in the moat of the Tower of London.

There But Not There Patron, Lord Dannatt said: “In buying the Tommies and silhouettes, people are not only commemorating the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers, they are also supporting the heroes of today, with all profits going to charities supporting the armed forces community.”

For more information relating to There But Not There or to see how you could get involved in holding your own installation, click here.