Skip to main content

Poignant First World War tribute ‘We’re here because we’re here’ wins major award

19th Medi 2017

Cold Feet star Hermione Norris hands over National Lottery Award to 1418-NOW

A moving, high profile and artistic commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, has been voted the UK’s Best Heritage project.

Cold Feet star Hermione Norris surprised some of the team from 14-18-NOW and the National Theatre who were behind the unique event at the National Army Museum today with the news ‘We’re here because we’re here’ has won its category at this year’s National Lottery Awards, the annual search for the nation’s favourite Lottery-funded good causes.

The event, commissioned by 14-18 NOW, beat off competition from 1,300 entries to win a £5,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and will have its work celebrated on a special BBC One show later this month.

On Friday 1 July 2016, people were stopped in their tracks by the unexpected appearance of 1,400 volunteers dressed as soldiers in full World War One uniform in town centres and various locations across the UK. This visual arts experience marked the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in history.

‘We're here because we're here’ was conceived by Turner-Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre. It was commissioned by 1418-NOW, produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, with support from 25 regional performance organisations across the UK and involved volunteers from all walks of life.

Hermione Norris said: "We're here because we're here’ really captured the public's imagination on a day of national significance: the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. It created a modern day mix of heritage, visual arts and theatre to serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by British soldiers a century ago. National Lottery players should be proud to have funded this fantastic project and so many other First World War remembrance initiatives."

Jenny Waldman, director at 14-18 NOW, added: "National Lottery funding has helped us create extraordinary arts experiences that connect people with the First World War.

“We are delighted that ‘We’re here because we’re here’ has made such an impact on the public. Winning this National Lottery Award is tremendous recognition for our artists, supporters, funders and volunteers.”

The winners of the National Lottery Awards are decided by the public - 4192 people voted for ‘We're here because we're here’ to win Best Heritage project.

You can see more about the impact of the project on a special show on BBC One on Wednesday 27 September, which will profile the seven winners of this year's National Lottery Awards.


For more information please contact Ruairi O’Kane on 07788 612804 or email Ruairi.o’

Nodiadau i olygyddion

National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for arts, sport, heritage and community good causes.

14-18 NOW is the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms. 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, and ‘We’re here because we’re here’ by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris.

14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising. 14-18 NOW has commissioned over 140 artworks to date that have been seen by more than 30 million people.

All voting was independently adjudicated and verified by Electoral Reform Services