Home heritage Poppy Memorial Badly Damaged Three Weeks Before Remembrance Day

Poppy Memorial Badly Damaged Three Weeks Before Remembrance Day

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A commemorative sculpture of a poppy in Royal Wootton Bassett collapsed under its own weight, causing significant damage.

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The 10ft wide sculpture was created by local artist, Mark Humphrey, in 2015.

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It was built in gratitude for the way the town honoured 355 fallen repatriated military personnel.

Wiltshire Police were called after the sculpture, dedicated by Princess Anne, was found broken this morning.

Forever poppy in Royal Wootton Bassett

Concerns were raised over whether it had been damaged as a result of vandalism but CCTV showed nobody was involved.

In a statement, the police confirmed there had been no crime.

It seems that the 4.5 tonne piece of artwork could not support its own weight when the bottom petal snapped overnight, causing it to fall over.

The town’s mayor Steve Bucknell said:

“We are shocked and saddened about the damage to the poppy, and are currently looking into the cause.”

poppy in Royal Wootton Bassett collapsed

“I have visited the poppy and I am committed, together with the council, to find a resolution as the poppy has become a treasured addition to the community.”

Mr Humphrey added:

“We are all understandably upset by this unexpected news.”

The piece called ‘Forever’, was intended to serve as a memorial to the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Photo © Vieve Forward (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Between spring 2007 and summer 2011, the coffins of 355 fallen military personnel were taken through the town, making the high street a focal point for the family of the fallen troops.

With Remembrance Day only three weeks away, local residents hope that it can be restored to its former glory.

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