Poppy display at St Mary's Church in Diss vandalised
A poppy display within the grounds of St Mary’s Church in Diss has been vandalised – just days after being put in place.
Organised by the Diss and District branch of the Royal British Legion, the Remembrance Day tribute was part of last year’s display at the end of Mere Street and at Roydon Church to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The poppies, some made of wood and some of acrylic, were hand painted by pupils of Diss and Roydon primary schools and carry personal tributes to those who perished in the war.
Jim Bidwell, a member of the legion and its Poppy Appeal organiser, was asked by the Rev Canon Tony Billett, from St Mary’s Church, to recreate the display in the church grounds this year after being impressed by the display at Roydon Church last year.
Mr Bidwell said: “They have been trampled on and I don’t want to go down there and see them to be honest.
“We each put in about three or four hours over the two days from Friday to do them.
“I have spoken to the others and they just can’t believe it.
“I think it is the general attitude of the time we live in. Last year, we raised £26,500, which just goes to show the level of support from other people who appreciate the sacrifice of those of years gone by.”
For the project, Mr Bidwell was joined by branch chairman Ralph Boone and members Andy Rackham, Michael Garnham and Robert Rogers.
Mr Bidwell and Mr Garnham also helped with a similar display at Roydon Church again this year.
Diss Town Council has supported the initiative with a small grant to facilitate the project.
Jim said: “We are looking to see if we can get the damaged ones replaced, so hopefully we can do that.
“The people that have done this, though, will have to live with the damage they have caused. We will just carry on.”