Parish Notes

Photo: Stephen Walker

Tommy Front View

Photo: Stephen Walker

Artist signature

Photo: Stephen Walker

Tommy View East

Photo: Stephen Walker

Close up Tommy head View

Photo: Stephen Walker

Plaques on the rear of Tommy

Ray Lonsdale has made a 'Tommy' sculpture which has proved very popular at Seaham. The imposing metal sculpture entitled 'Eleven o One' - owing to the fact the armistice went into effect at 11am on November 11, 1918 - stands 9ft 5ins (2.87m) tall and weighs 1.2-tonne.

The statue, built out of special corten steel, was installed to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War and was only expected to remain in place for three months.

After winning the hearts of hundreds of visitors to the town, it is now exhibited permanently. The artwork, which was installed in May 2014 attracted hundreds of visitors to Seaham, many of whom donated cash to the Save Tommy campaign. A Facebook page called Mission 1101 attracted more than 4,000 members with many pledging to support to Tommy, which is situated on Terrace Green, next to the war memorial.

At the back of the pedestal are two plaques. The top one reads:
Now adrift in the wake of the glorious slaughter
He'd seen many a soul cleansed in filthy water.
Seen godless men reach out for the Bible
As lead tore the flesh from both friend and rival.
Soon home to the joy and celebration of kin,
Drunken slaps on the back at a favourite inn.
But heavy in his pocket is a small piece of card
As the note written on it will break a mother's heart.

Eleven O One. Ray Lonsdale.

The lower, smaller plaque reads:
"Eleven O One"
Known locally as 'Tommy'
was bought on Aug. 4 2014
with generous donations
from the public, local schools,
businesses and Durham County
Council, he sits here
for future generations to
visit, enjoy and remember.
By Ray Lonsdale. Artist Ray Lonsdale story
Ray Lonsdale website on Tommy