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Replacement White Poppy wreath for Memorial Gates in Stowmarket after original one goes missing

PUBLISHED: 14:01 26 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:01 26 November 2017

Helene Thomas put the replacement White Poppy wreath on the Memorial Gates, in Stowmarket.

Helene Thomas put the replacement White Poppy wreath on the Memorial Gates, in Stowmarket.


A White Poppy replacement wreath has been put on the Memorial Gates, in Stowmarket, after the original one was mysteriously removed.

The original White Poppy wreath being put on the Memorial Gates, in Stowmarket, by councillor Miles Row. The original White Poppy wreath being put on the Memorial Gates, in Stowmarket, by councillor Miles Row.

It has caused anger to Helene Thomas who went to great lengths to organise a special service on Remembrance Sunday to place the original wreath on the gates.

She said she is also placing a sign to draw attention to the “theft/desecration”.

“If I knew who was responsible for this I would love to sit down and discuss with them why they thought that they had the right to behave in this way.

“It has saddened me enormously,” she said on Saturday.

“The service was extremely successful in getting people talking about the real meaning of the White Poppy. For many years now it has been known as the Peace Poppy, perhaps because it has the word ‘peace’ printed in the middle.

“The White Poppy remembers all victims of war, from all countries, whether military or civilian.

“As the UK becomes increasingly more multicultural this is much more is an inclusive way to remember.”

The White Poppy wreath remained on the gates for four days before it went missing following the dedication which was attended by the Rev Michael Eden, of Stowmarket Parish Church, who officiated and said prayers. There was a reading about the meaning of the White Poppy and councillor Miles Row laid the wreath.

Helene added: “Friends had come from Bury St Edmunds and I was shocked to see that the wreath was gone. This blatant act of disrespect is an absolute disgrace and it would be interesting to discover why the wreath was removed and why the person who removed it was too afraid to do so publicly.

“Perhaps they are unsure of the meaning of the White Poppy, in which case I’d be happy to sit down with them and explain the meaning in more detail, or perhaps they feel that they have a right to take away the choice of people to remember in their own way?

“This behaviour is unacceptable and disrespectful to all of those who have lost people in war and would like to see a move towards alternative ways of problem solving. Should people not have that freedom of choice?”

David Blackburn, the clerk to Stowmarket Parish Council, said he had been saddened by the removed of the White Poppy wreath and added: “The Town Council supported the service and we held two events on Remembrance Sunday and everyone seemed pleased with what we did on the day.

“But it does appear that the wreath has been removed.”

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