Hadleigh Royal British Legion mural pays tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore
A painted tribute to a 100-year-old Second World War veteran, who achieved national recognition for his fundraising during the coronavirus pandemic, has been the talk of Hadleigh this month.
The mural depicting the late Captain Sir Tom Moore was installed outside Ipswich Building Society in High Street, following his death on February 2.
It is the latest in a series of murals created by the Hadleigh and District Royal British Legion (RBL) to help raise awareness for its support services for former or serving Armed Forces personnel and their families.
Over the last year, different displays have appeared to coincide with major commemorations, including VE (Victory in Europe) Day, VJ (Victory in Japan) Day and Remembrance Day.
Branch chairman Mark Brennan, who painted the mural of Captain Sir Tom, said the latest artwork also pays tribute to the work of the NHS throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, with the use of the ubiquitous rainbow symbol.
He told the Free Press the need for the RBL’s support services is greater than ever, due to the mental health struggles brought on by the various lockdowns.
“We’ve got a key welfare role in the town, looking after the needs of veterans in the community, but, quite often, we get overlooked, so we like to remind people that we, as an organisation, are still alive and kicking,” said Mr Brennan.
“When lockdown occurred, we thought we would create some murals. They have proved to be really popular.
“Every time we have a key anniversary, we put another one up. We’re going to leave this one up for a good while, until another appropriate anniversary comes up.
“The response has been absolutely fabulous. Social media has lit up and everyone is really happy with it. We’re living in strange times, so anything that gives people something to smile about is great.”
He added: “Like every organisation, we’ve been affected by the pandemic. Our Poppy Appeal was severely affected, but it’s important to remind people that we’re still here.
“The branch committee is made up of local veterans, and we can help with anything people might need. They can come to us as a first port of call, and we can signpost them to other agencies if needed.”
To contact the Hadleigh RBL, telephone 01473 824874.