2020 reviewed and a look forward to 2021

2020 will certainly long be remembered, perhaps not for the most positive reasons, but remembered nonetheless.

It’s certainly been tough for so many people with the loss of so many lives throughout the world, the closure of businesses and the loss of jobs. As I write this we’re faced with a rise in cases, the prospect of further restrictions and the discovery of a new strain of the virus that seems to be spread even faster.

We can be forgiven for being gloomy, but with the new vaccine on the horizon there is hope and let’s hope for a more positive 2021.

It seems trivial to talk about model soldiers in the middle of an epidemic, but hobbies have been of vital importance in 2020, distracting people, giving them a purpose and occupying time. It seems that Tommy’s War customers have taken this to heart and sales have increased through 2020 (by some margin) despite not being able to attend any model shows.

Typically, the three main shows I attend (Euro Militaire, Scale Model Challenge and Scale Model World) would account for something like 20% of turnover. Even without those turnover is up and I want to say a massive thank you to every single customer that purchased something. Your business allows me to continue investing in more new figures and to grow the business.

Plans for 2021 continue and as I’ve mentioned before (and sorry for banging the same drum) the year is the 10th anniversary of starting Tommy’s War – and I’ve got a great year of releases planned.

In the first quarter I aim to bring four figures out – two will form the 10 year anniversary special;

TW32S06 – King George V and Field Marshall

TW32S06 will be two figures, one will be King George V based on this image

The second release of 2021 will feature two Lewis Gunners, a number 1 and number 2, advancing. One of these (the number 1) will depict Private George Price of the 28th North West Bn of the Canadian Infantry – although (as always) the figures will be able to represent any British, Irish, Australian, New Zealand or South African (with the exception of Highland Regiments) during the final stages of the Western Front campaign.

Private Price is a significant choice as he is said to be the last soldier from the British Empire killed in action at 10:58 am on November 11th 1918.

Those of you who are sharp-eyed will have spotted that TW32001 is a Private of the Middlesex Regiment who it is said had the first casualties of World War One in 1914 (Private Parr said to be the first). The sad irony being that both men (as well as Private George Ellison of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers said to be the last British man killed) are buried in St Symphorean Military Cemetery, just southeast of the town of Mons.

If nothing speaks of the futility of war, surely it’s the fact that the first and last known men killed before the Armistice died so close together.

If you’d like to find out more about the three men mentioned, try these links;

Before I get told off, I am aware that the horrors of the war went on for many years after 1918 and many, many men went on to lose their lives as a result of their service (indeed, my own Great Grandfather died in 1921 as a result of what he saw between 1915 and 1916) and I mean no disrespect to them nor do I forget their sacrifice.

This effectively ends the chronological journey of Tommy’s War, but don’t worry, we don’t end there. I’ll continue to release figures and look to go back and fill-in areas I think I missed as I went through!

Of course, the Vickers Machine Gun scene remains on the table and I’m speaking to Nino about new releases constantly, so I’ll be looking to get those four figures with you as soon as I can and then some great new releases through the year.

Additionally, we’re working really hard to cast new stock and get everything back and in production we have the artillery, the clyno motorcycle plus the bases. I’ll also be running a stock-check over Christmas and filling-in the gaps where figures are out of stock.

So, I hope you join me on the journey into 2021 and beyond. Thank you to you all for your custom, your support and your friendship. It means the world to me, and I hope we can be reunited at model shows in 2021.

In the meantime may I wish you and your families the best of health, a Happy Christmas and a safe and healthy 2021. Let’s support each other, let’s be kind to one another and let’s be positive – because it might get worse before it gets better, but better it will get!

Darren