VE Day – or ‘Victory in Europe Day’ – is fast approaching and the Tommy in the Window campaign is set to return once again to mark the day.
VE Day marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end.
The annual event takes place on May 8 to mark the same date in 1945 when Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio that the war in Europe had come to an end, following Germany’s surrender the day before.
Royal British Legion Industries lead the annual public commemorations and this year’s campaign will be bigger than ever.
Last year’s iconic 75th celebrations were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic and as a result the inaugural Tommy in the Window campaign was introduced.
But who is Tommy, and how can you get your hands on a figure? Here is all you need to know.
Who is Tommy?
The origins of the term Tommy is widely disputed, but according to the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) the most common interpretation is that the term comes from Tommy Atkins, which is slang for a common soldier in the British Army.
Tommy was chosen as a generic name by the war office in 1815 and it’s thought German soldiers would call out ‘Tommy’ across no man’s land if they wanted to speak to a British soldier.
Calling the silhouetted figure ‘Tommy’ is a way of commemorating all the brave soldiers who fought during the war.
What is the Tommy in the Window campaign?
The Tommy in the Window campaign began last year when, due to lockdown restrictions, Brits were urged to place a soldier in their windows to mark the special day.
The RBLI asked for people to place soldier figures in the window to show respect for those who fought for our country.
The figures are made by injured veterans in its social enterprise factory.
How can I get a Tommy figure?
Tommy figures be be purchased on the RBLI website for £24.99.
An additional shipping cost is also calculated at checkout with delivery time taking 10 days.
Each purchase of one of the Tommy products assists with helping a veteran into employment.
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