Stolen war memorial to be replaced

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News

A stolen tribute to the First World War fallen is to be replaced.

Police launched an appeal for the five-foot tall Silent Soldier silhouette outside the Co-operative store in Yapton on September 4.

In a statement at the time, a police spokesperson said the memorial figure was taken sometime overnight on August 29.

It was one of three Tommy figures on display in the village thanks to donations to the Royal British Legion, which launched the initiative, with two sponsored by the Co-op.

Jim Payne, a member of Yapton and Ford History Group and who has a keen interest in the Great War, organised the sponsorship and acquisition of the three tributes.

Following a donation from the Co-op and money raised through a JustGiving page the figure is now to be replaced.

Mr Payne said: “We have reached just about £750, which is donations from the Co-op Southern and the rest has come from members of the public.”

He said the £250 Co-op donation was ‘really generous’.

“I was really quite gratified with that,” he said.

Of the sum, £250 will pay for the figure, and the remaining £500 will go as a donation to the Royal British Legion.

Yapton resident Greig Doyle, who works in the emergency services, started the JustGiving page.

He said the Royal British Legion is a charity close to his heart, as his grandfather was in the King’s Troop based in Liverpool, and that he was ‘quite annoyed’ when he heard the news of the theft.

He said the JustGiving campaign had a ‘slow uptake initially’ and then there was ‘a very kind anonymous donation’ of £300.

He said: “We have been able to do it in quite a short space of time.

“I’m really grateful to be honest to all the villagers that have kindly supported it.

“It’s just nice to know that people have come together to donate and do their bit.”

The new figure is to be screwed to the wall of the Main Road Co-op store.