A WAR veteran from Bacup has weaved his magic to create a model of a tank from willow to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

The sculpture of a British Mark 4 male tank, featuring a cannon, machine gun and tracks, has been made by retired armourer David Joddrell, who served in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.

The 62-year-old crafted the model from willow as it is alive, and will continue to grow throughout the summer, meaning the branches can be continuously woven into the structure to make it more solid.

David served in Germany and Cyprus and had two tours in Northern Ireland, modifying the Army’s weapons.

He has been a member of Haslingden-based charity Veterans In Communities (VIC) for two years, who were awarded a Whitworth Neighbourhood Forum grant for the project at Healey Corner.

There will also be works completed in Whitworth Memorial Gardens, and a further willow arch will be built over steps in the gardens.

David said: “I’ve deliberately left the back of the tank open so that children will be able to go inside it. I haven’t used plans, the designs for it are all in my head, which I’ve been working on for six months.

“I am also going to make a half-size willow soldier with a rifle at the side and there has been talk on social media sites that they may bring the scarecrow festival forward.

“It would be fantastic to have scarecrow soldiers in all the trees behind the tank.”

The build has so far taken David around a week to make. Poppy seeds specially imported from Belgium by VIC will now be planted in the area around the sculpture.

David took up willow sculpting in 2008 and with a team of three built a one third scale model of Concorde at Manchester Airport.

He said: “I got into a bit of depression for various reasons and it was suggested that I join the VIC art group.

“I like to make things and VIC has helped me because it has given me a focus."