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Vandalised war silhouettes which outraged residents in a Norfolk town have been replaced

PUBLISHED: 16:35 02 November 2018

Paul Williams with one of the replacement Tommy statues that  have been installed on benches around Yarmouth Market Place.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Paul Williams with one of the replacement Tommy statues that have been installed on benches around Yarmouth Market Place. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Silhouettes honouring war heroes which were destroyed by vandals in Great Yarmouth last Friday - just 48 hours after they were unveiled - have been replaced.

Replacement Tommy statues have been installed on benches around Yarmouth Market Place.
Picture: Nick ButcherReplacement Tommy statues have been installed on benches around Yarmouth Market Place. Picture: Nick Butcher

Great Yarmouth based manufacturers Displaypro were shocked by the damage done to the Tommy silhouettes and have replaced six of them with stronger material.

The initial statues were revealed in the Great Yarmouth Market Place on Wednesday, October 24, as part of an event marking the start of over two weeks of remembrance in the town.

Just two days later, six statues were completely destroyed by vandals leaving people in the town outraged.

Simon Clarke, 46, business development manager of Displaypro, said he immediately contacted Great Yarmouth Borough Council when he heard about the vandalism of the statues.

Simon Clarke, Mary Coleman and Paul Williams with one of the Replacement Tommy statues that have been installed on benches around Yarmouth Market Place.
Picture: Nick ButcherSimon Clarke, Mary Coleman and Paul Williams with one of the Replacement Tommy statues that have been installed on benches around Yarmouth Market Place. Picture: Nick Butcher

“We were shocked when we heard the news and thought as a local company we would be able to help. It is great to be able to do something like this.

“They look great and we have made them much stronger. Hopefully people will respect what they stand for,” he said.

Chairman of the Great Yarmouth branch of The Royal British Legion, Paul Williams, said he was “demoralised” by the vandals actions but described the reinstallation of the statues as “wonderful news”.

Mr Williams said: “I had no words when I found out the statues had been destroyed. I was demoralised.

“Today is a terrific day and it is a wonderful feeling to have them back in the town so quickly. I am absolutely delighted.”

Mr Clarke said the company has changed the shape of the silhouettes and used a polycarbonate solution to make them much stronger.

Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Mary Coleman attended the unveiling of the new silhouettes and thanked Displaypro for their generosity.

She said: “It is a brilliant gesture from the company. We are really pleased and so grateful for their help.

“What happened was appalling but hopefully people respect them this time around.”

The Tommy silhouettes were installed as part of the national “There But Not There” campaign which aims to educate all generations about the ultimate sacrifice soldiers made in the war.

This years commemoration carries extra significance as it marks 100 years since the First World War ended.

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