A touching tribute to our fallen heroes

1st November 2011.Profile on Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.'War memorial in Mytholmroyd.
1st November 2011.Profile on Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.'War memorial in Mytholmroyd.

A poignant art exhibition will pay a touching tribute to the Hebden Royd men killed in the Great War.

Cities, towns and villages across the country lost generations of men to the First World War.

Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd were no different.

More than 100 men from both towns never returned home from battle, but they will always be remembered thanks to a new art project, Tommy’s Portrait.

Artists from across the borough will recreate images of the fallen men for the exhibition, which will run from July 1, 2016 - the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Felicity Dargan-Bell, of Mytholmroyd, is the brains behind the exhibition.

Her inspiration came from a smilar project, The Bentham Boys, by Lancashire artist David Hartnup.

Felicity, 30, said: “Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge have a lot of artists and I thought that if everybody who wanted to be involved could do a portrait in their own style, it would be a really interesting exhibition.

“It’s a nice way for locals to dedicate some time and thoughts to the men who died.

“I think it will be quite poignant, for me it’s a chance for the artists to prise out what emotions and feelings they see on their faces.

“It will be really interesting to see how each artist interprets the portrait they choose.

“It’s also interesting for the residents as the men all lived locally.

“The information will be printed with portrait, so visitors can see the local connection.

“My mum has chosenthe portrait of someone who lived on the same street as her.”

The portraits have been supplied by Jade Smith, who compiled the Mytholmroyd Commemorative Book of the Fallen in 2011.

And although pictures are not available for some of the fallen men, they will still be commemorated in some way.

The exhibition is planned to initially open at St Michael’s Church, Mytholmroyd, but there are plans to show the display at other venues across Calderdale.

And money made from the sale of the portraits will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

Felicity added: “Everybody is so excited and I’m quite blown away by it, but we are still looking for more people.”

To get involved with Tommy’s Portrait, email Felicity at flissdargan@aol.com or visitthe facebook page at facebook.com/groups/1523455757898931