Your comments on having a ‘Tommy statue’ on permanent display

Reepham Town Council has been offered a “There But Not There” statue, better known as the “Tommy statue”, as a memorial to the fallen from the Reepham district.

The offer is due to be discussed at this week’s Town Council meeting on Wednesday 9 January, starting at 7.30 pm in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham.
Readers of the Reepham Life community website were asked whether they would like to see such a statue on permanent display, and if so, where would be a suitable location. Meanwhile, a recent poll on Twitter indicated 75% in favour of having a statue installed, with 25% against. An edited selection of your comments is published below.
In favour:

  • This is a wonderful idea, and a welcome offer from whoever is responsible. It would be most effective where the silhouette can be seen most clearly against a plain background, preferably in or near the churchyard, but we are confident the Town Council would be the right forum to decide.
  • The Bircham Centre was intended to be a war memorial, given [to the town] by Samuel Bircham, 100 years ago, next August. A perfect place for the soldier statue would be between the two windows of what is the charity shop, at the northwest corner – and permanently fixed in concrete. The trustees of the building could make it part of their centenary celebrations.
  • Would love to have the Tommy statue in our town; it would be fantastic. The churchyard would be an option.
  • I think it would be appropriate if the Tommy statue was located within the grounds of the Bircham Centre, which is a visible and central location within Reepham. The Bircham Centre was used as a Red Cross rehabilitation hospital for recovering First World War soldiers; 2019 is also the centenary of the Bircham Centre being given to the people of Reepham.


  • I lived for more than 20 years in Reepham and am still a regular visitor and have a strong affection for the town. I am hoping [the Town Council decides] against accepting the Tommy sculpture. I don’t find it an attractive piece of art, nor do I think it is a fitting memorial to the people of Reepham who lost their lives in several wars. An outline of a man holding a gun with a bayonet is an uncomfortable sight, which is possibly one objective, but feels too close to glorifying the soldiers’ ghastly experiences. Perhaps something could be commissioned from a local artist to stand in the Bircham Centre garden?
  • Please not [have the Tommy statue] – or only if we can have a statue to a suffragette as well.

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