Pigeons to depict their role in the First World War as part of trail in bid to raise money for the MyWiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal

Pigeons carried a massive amount of information during the First World War.

And the birds are to be depicted on a large piece of artwork as part of a trail through Bury St Edmunds which reflects elements of the 1914-18 conflict.

The “Silent Soldiers” will commemorate how more than 100,000 carrier pigeons were used during the war with an astonishing success rate of 95% getting through to their destination with their message.

It’s being created by Michelle Freeman, who runs the Crafty Foxes, and features up to 30 of the birds cut out of discarded LPs and fixed onto a 2 x 1 metre copper metal plate.

It will then be displayed on a wall in the bar of LPs, on the corner of Woolhall Street and St Andrews Street South, with the records supplied by the club’s owner Mike Garling, who is also sponsoring the artwork.

The first few pigeons will be cut away from the records to look as if they are flying out of it.

Michelle said: “Many people find pigeons a nuisance so this may change their mind when they realise how useful they were to us back then. It’s also a crafty bit of artwork as its upcycling old records so reflecting Crafty Foxes as a local organisation.”

Mr Garling, who has over 2,000 LPs and aptly named the bar and club after his record collection, said he was keen to get involved with the trail.

“There’s an educational aspect to the trail and we wanted to get involved and support the town and the charity as much as possible,” he said.

The My WiSH Charity’s World War 1 trail is being supported by Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement organisation in the town. It will feature 18 pieces, commissioned by local artists and sculptors, dotted in prime town centre sites and will be on show from July 23, through to Armistice Day, on November 11.

At the culmination of the trail an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces to go to the charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal which is aiming to raise £500,000 to help fund the building of a brand new cardiac diagnostic unit at the West Suffolk Hospital.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

The trail is to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1 and is aimed at creating community involvement

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the website www.mywishcharity.co.uk and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to

Justgiving.com/ehma or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.

Pictured above is Michelle Freeman and Mike Garling with a mock up of “Silent Soldiers” in LPs.

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