The ghosts of fallen soldiers will return home this year with the help of the people of Aspatria.

An appeal has been launched to buy 71 six-foot tall perspex soldiers as part of the There But Not There campaign marking the centenary of the end of first world war. They will commemorate every name on the town’s war memorial.

Leading up to Remembrance Sunday, the soldiers will be placed around the town.

The Rev Canon Tim Herbert who, with retired fireman and WWI historian Mike Gregson, have launched the campaign, explained: “You might find a couple of soldiers in a local cafe or one sitting at the railway station. They will be all over town as a very real reminder of those who lost their lives in war.”

Mr Gregson was researching his family tree when he discovered that four great grandfathers had served in WWI.

It led him to research more and, in 2014 he travelled 1,500 miles through the Somme and Ypres to place wreaths on the graves of 51 Aspatria soldiers who died on the Western Front. Twenty other Aspatria soldiers lost their lives in other theatres of war.

After a battle with red tape, he also managed to have a plaque, from Aspatria, erected on the wall of St George’s Church in Ypres.

Proceeds from the There But Not There campaign will be divided among several charities supporting service people.

The cost of the 71 perspex soldiers is £2,982 and the men would also like to buy one aluminium standing soldier.

Sealy Beds has already donated £560 and the men are urging other businesses and individuals to donate by contacting Mr Herbert on 016937 22712 or Mr Gregson on 07890 337973.