TEN touching tributes to the soldiers from Mersea and Peldon who died during the First World War smashed their auction estimates raising more than £10,000 for good causes.

The Tommy statues went under the hammer at auction house Reeman Dansie, in Wyncolls Road, Colchester, raising £10,700.

The total will be added to the £24,000 which was raised from the sale of the first 26 silhouettes, taking the total to £35,000 with 15 still left to sell.

Steel fabricator Duncan Pittock created the soldiers for The Strood to celebrate the centenary of the end of the Great War with the help of his daughter, Faith.

Auctioneer Lewis Rabett led the sale at the Severalls Industrial Estate venue.

“It was really good, Duncan came a watched them sell and he is really pleased,” he said.

“The total is amazing and exceeded the expectations which Duncan had at the start of the project.

“Most of them have ended up staying on the island or in the immediate area.

“The majority we sold will be going on display in prominent areas such as outside shops, they won’t just be going to sit in someone’s garage.”

The auction house had estimated each soldier statue at between £200 and £300, however, all of the items more than doubled this target.

Mr Rabett said: “The most expensive one sold for £1,200 and the cheapest went for £700 so it was a fairly even spread.

“We had internet bids, commission bids and bids in the room.

“It is really good when items do better than you predict and it being for a good cause makes it even better.

“It was in line with what the others made at the charity auction before so it appears to be the going rate.”

He added: “We love to do our bit for good causes and with this one we really did jump at the chance to get involved.

“It has been really nice how it has all worked out so well for everyone involved.”

There are five Tommys available in a raffle and ten are for sale via sealed bids at Mersea’s Royal British Legion Hall.

The money will be split between the Royal British Legion, Mersea Island Tales Educational Trust, Mersea Island Rotary Club, Mersea Lions Club, The Strood Charity and Dabchicks Sailing Club.

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