Yapton community rallies around to replace stolen First World War tribute

The new Silent Soldier in Yapton SUS-181024-145141001
The new Silent Soldier in Yapton SUS-181024-145141001

The theft of a First World War tribute from Yapton has seen an outpouring of support from the community.

Three Silent Soldier silhouettes had been placed around Yapton, including one outside the Co-operative in Main Road, to commemorate the centenary of armistice day.

The new Silent Soldier in Yapton SUS-181024-145129001

The new Silent Soldier in Yapton SUS-181024-145129001

The Co-op’s silhouette was stolen at the end of August, sparking a strong reaction among residents and on social media.

One Yapton Villager, Greg Doyle, set up a fundraiser to replace the stolen soldier. Each soldier is given in return for a £250 donation to the Royal British Legion.

The community’s generosity has seen more than £500 raised – more than double the target.

Even better, the Co-op in Main Road has also offered the £250 required to replace the Silent Soldier, meaning more than £750 has now been donated to the Royal British Legion.

Yapton local Jim Payne was behind the tributes initially and is heavily involved in armistice commemorations across the village.

“It’s great that people have really responded to the theft,” he said.

“There was a strong reaction on social media and people have really come together.”

Mr Payne said the figure has been screwed to the wall of the Co-op this time to prevent a repeat of August’s theft.

In addition to the tribute outside the Co-op, which has now sponsored three of them, the five feet high monuments were placed in Maypole Lane and Barnham Road.

The Silent Soldiers are part of a number of initiatives across the Littlehampton area to mark 100 years since the end of the war. Read more about them here: First World War commemorations to be made across Littlehampton to mark the armistice centenary

Read more about the theft of the Silent Soldier, in August, here: Silent Soldier First World War tribute stolen from Yapton Co-Op

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