September 29th, 2016

Volunteers dressed as First World War soldiers march through Bromsgrove as part of #wearehere Somme memorial art

Updated: 10:24 pm, Jul 04, 2016

BROMSGROVE was one of the areas chosen nationwide for a poignant piece of Remembrance art to commemorate the centenary of The Battle of the Somme on Friday (July 1).

Thousands of volunteers dressed in First World War uniforms congregated in groups up and down the UK from the north to south.

In Bromsgrove, a group was seen marching down Bromsgrove High Street before going up to the war memorial in Aston Fields.

None of them spoke a word and, when asked what the project was about, they would simply hand out a card bearing the name of a soldier killed on July 1.

We were given a card with the name: Serjeant Herbert Henry Perkins 1st/8th Warwickshire Regiment on it.

It reported he: ‘Died at the Somme on 1st July 2016’ and also included the hashtag #wearehere

‘We’re here because we’re here’ was a UK-wide event commissioned by 14-18 NOW, conceived and created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, who is the Director of the National Theatre.

Rufus grew up in the town and attended North Bromsgrove High School.

The project was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, in collaboration with 27 organisations.

The title ‘We’re here because we’re here’ makes reference to a song sang in the trenches to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

One man told The Standard: “It was an amazingly poignant tribute – the way they milled around, not speaking and the way they did not seem to notice anyone around them was almost like they were ghosts from the past mingling with daily life a hundred years later.”

Gough Bailey Wright also posted an image on Twitter of the men in Bromsgrove, marching down the High Street.

And accompanying another image posted on Twitter, resident Gary Morgan wrote: “Love this, in Bromsgrove this morning…’for your tomorrow, we gave our today’ #wearehere .”

Visit www.becausewearehere.co.uk for more on the creation and to see more pictures from across the country.

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