Deddington going the extra mile to mark WWI centenary

(L-R) Deddington Royal British Legion branch chairman Rob Forsyth, Alex Moss from Forged & Found and Rev Annie Goldthorp with the silhouette
(L-R) Deddington Royal British Legion branch chairman Rob Forsyth, Alex Moss from Forged & Found and Rev Annie Goldthorp with the silhouette

The Deddington branch of the Royal British Legion has gone the extra mile to mark the centenary of the end of World War One for the village.

A metal soldier silhouette designed by the branch chairman and made by a Deddington ironworker is standing proudly on the village green.

While clear-plastic soldier silhouettes are filling seats in the Church of St Peter and St Paul to represent the 70 men from the village who died during the war.

Seven of those silhouettes will then occupy an empty table at the Deddington Ball, which will be raising money for the Royal British Legion, as a mark of respect.

Branch chairman Rob Forsyth said: “You have to remember that we have a lot of injured servicemen and the money we raise will help them.

“We need to strike a balance between remembering those who made a sacrifice and helping those who still are making are sacrifice.”

Rob decided to go one better than the Royal British Legion’s soldier silhouette by commissioning Alex Moss from Forged & Found to make a metal one.

The design was sketched by Rob, a former Royal Navy nuclear submarine commander, and made into a digital design by architects David J Stewart Associates from Bloxham.

Deddington Original Golf Society raised the money for the silhouette. The soldier was erected on the green on Sunday and will stand there until November 11, before going to the ball on November 17.

After that the church has agreed to give the silhouette a permanent residence.

Rob said: “There was a little chain of events that all fell into place which showed it was meant to be, all thanks to people locally making it happen.”

This year’s ball at Bo Peep Farm has a black and red theme ball with a poppy motif for the centenary.

There will be an auction, live music and a three course dinner, all in aid of the Royal British Legion and children’s medical research charity, Action for A-T.

For tickets call John Barber on 07539 354635 or email deddingtonball@gmail.com.