Silhouettes of North Mymms WWI fallen join service

Shadows on pews for 100th anniversary


Silhouettes at St Mary's Church  Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project
Silhouettes at St Mary's Church
Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project

40 life-size head-and-shoulders silhouettes have been placed at the end of the pews in St Mary's church, North Mymms as part of the 100-year commemoration of the end of WWI. Attached to each of the black cutouts, designed to look like the shadow of a soldier, are details of servicemen from the parish who died during the 'Great War'.

Silhouettes at St Mary's Church  Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project
Silhouettes at St Mary's Church
Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project

Local historian and photographer, Mike Allen, one of the team behind the North Mymms History Project, says each board bears biographical details of the serviceman, including his name, age, birthplace, regiment, battalion, rank, medals bestowed, and brief details of their lives.

Silhouettes at St Mary's Church
Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project

Below is a sample page of the type attached to the silhouettes. This page tells the story of William James Collins of North Mymms, an apprentice plumber, who died on April 19, 1915, aged 21.



Emotionally moving experience


Mike, who admits the whole project has been an emotional experience, says the impact of the black silhouettes and the brief introductions to each man will be moving and thought-provoking.
"I have been researching the lives of these men of North Mymms for more than six years. As I found out more about each man I found myself becoming emotionally involved in their stories. Last month that research was uploaded to the Mighty Men of Mymms website, appearing online for the first time so that others could appreciate the sacrifice these men - many of them teenagers - made. I am hoping the display will help bring that home to visitors to the church over the commemoration weekend."
The Mighty Men of Mymms site has a page for each of the 59 North Mymms men who died during or because of WWI.

Display in the porch at St Mary's Church, North Mymms Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons
Display in the porch at St Mary's Church, North Mymms
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons

Mike Allen has written an introduction to the site, which tells the story about why he undertook the project.

Display in the porch at St Mary's Church, North Mymms Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons
Display in the porch at St Mary's Church, North Mymms
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons




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