Veteran's silent soldiers stand on guard near Mansfield in memory of fallen

A Bilsthorpe veteran has created an army of silent soldiers in a memorial to those who lost their lives in wars and conflicts.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 6:59 pm

Grandfather Arthur Pinnick, aged 73, has created the memorial depicting a group of soldiers standing on guard around the village war memorial in time for Remembrance Day.

After serving in the Royal Engineer, Arthur, who has lived in Bilsthorpe for 50 years, used his experience and talent for making and building things.

Seven of the soldiers have been attached to trees, with two more guarding each end of a seat on the approach to the Eakring Road memorial.

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One of the silent soldiers guards the seat at Bilsthorpe

The soldiers are about 5ft 8in tall and painstakingly cut from plywood.

Painted black and varnished, they create a realistic silhouette effect.

The soldiers take Arthur several hours to complete, and have already gathered a lot of interest. He has made about 20 altogether, with many going to homes and other locations including a school.

Arthur said: “I got the idea from Church Warsop, where there was a big display along the road. I thought I could do something like that for our memorial.”

Arthur and Glenys Pinnick

Arthur joined the army aged 17, in 1965, and went for training in Hampshire, before being posted to the 36 Engineer Regiment, in Maidstone, Kent.

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He spent six months in Cyprus building ski-lifts, as part of his work in a construction unit, he went to Gibraltar and built a football stadium, built roads in Kenya and houses for the RAF in Libya, as well as serving in Germany and Northern Ireland.

One of the silent soldiers by the trees at Bilsthorpe

He left the Army in 1975 and worked as a lorry driver for some years until he retired

Arthur said: “I just thought the silent soldiers would help people to remember all those who have lost their lives in the many wars and various conflicts around the world, including the modern day ones like Afghanistan and the Falklands.

“We’ve lost lots of servicemen over the years, I have lost friends myself and it is important to remember them all.”

His wife Glenys, 72, said “I am so proud of what he has done. He works very hard on them.

“Everybody seems to really like them and they do look really good.”

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