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Glorifying the ‘Silent Soldiers’ of World War

Mike Garling and Michelle Freeman with a mock up of 'Silent Soldiers' in Bury St Edmunds bar LP
Mike Garling and Michelle Freeman with a mock up of 'Silent Soldiers' in Bury St Edmunds bar LP

The work of pigeons during World War One is being recognised on a large piece of artwork as part of a trail through Bury St Edmunds to raise funds for charity.

The artwork named ‘Silent Soldiers’ will commemorate how more than 100,000 pigeons were used during the war to carry information.

Michelle Freeman, who runs The Crafty Foxes, has teamed up with LP bar owner Mike Garling to create the project.

They are using discarded records from Mike’s vast collection of more than 2,000 LPs, to create cut outs of the birds which will be displayed on a wall in the bar.

Michelle said she wanted to change the often negative perception of pigeons.

She said: “Many people find pigeons a nuisance so this may change their mind when they realise how useful they were to us back then.

“It’s also a crafty bit of artwork as it’s upcycling old records so reflecting Crafty Foxes as a local organisation.”

Crafty Foxes runs craft workshops and parties for adults and children.

Mike added: “There’s an educational aspect to the trail and we wanted to get involved and support the town and the charity as much as possible.”

The trail is being organised by West Suffolk Hospital’s My WiSH Charity and supported by Our Bury St Edmunds.

The trail will feature 18 pieces of artwork commissioned by artists and sculptors dotted around prime town centre locations.

It will be on show between July 23 and Armistice Day on November 11.

At the climax of the trail, an auction will take place to sell off the artwork.

The earnings from the auction will go towards the My WiSH charity appeal Every Heart Matters.

It aims to raise £500,000 to help fund the building of a new cardiac diagnostic unit at West Suffolk Hospital.

To support the Every Heart Matters appeal, visit www.mywishcharity.co.uk or www.justgiving.com/ehma.

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