A tale of two Tommies

Last week we were delighted to be able to re-install “Tommy Hill” – our silent soldier who symbolised the town’s thanks to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed, rebuilt and changed the nation.

Tommy was initially sited along the path to the Overton War Memorial, but unfortunately was vandalised early in lockdown.

Very kindly, Owyn Rowland from Gordons Products in Main Street offered to attempt a repair. However, when Tommy was taken into the workshop, he was found to be beyond repair. Owyn and his colleague Mike Dimelow were not going to give up! They agreed to make a new silhouette out of sheet metal. The new silhouette was also strengthened down the back with metal rods.

Tommy Mark II, who Owyn dubbed “Tommy Hill” was then powder coated to preserve him for years to come. All this work has been done free of charge. Owyn and Mike have given up many hours free to fabricate Tommy Mark II.

A new plaque was formed and produced by Hawk Publications, also free of charge, and Tommy was returned to a new site nearer the War Memorial on 16 July. A World War I nurse has also been installed at the site.

Sadly Tommy Hill was again vandalised a few days after his return to the hill. The damage has been assessed and it is hoped that the necessary repairs can be carried out on site.

Photo of Tommy silhouette
Tommy Hill before the latest damage