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Outrage after Brockenhurst Silent Soldier's rifle cut off

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BROCKENHURST residents are furious after the rifle was cut from the village's Silent Soldier.

Locals have said the vandalism "makes a mockery" of those who gave their lives, and called those responsible "idiots".

It also comes three years after Brockenhurst councillors suggested banning Silent Soldiers because they feared the ‘Tommys’ were carrying guns and may offend some people. They proposed instead to put poppies on lampposts.

The vandalised Brockenhurst Silent Soldier
The vandalised Brockenhurst Silent Soldier

However, after a public outcry and petition signed by more than 1,000 people, the parish council displayed a Silent Solider in the village complete with rifle.

Silent Soldiers are near-life-sized metal silhouettes of a First World War ‘Tommy’ and designed by the Royal British Legion to mark the centenary of WWI.

Reflecting on the damage, one villager said: "The rifle, top and bottom, has been cut off.

"[Is it] vandalism or deliberate and political correctness given the row three years ago?"

How a Silent Soldier should look
How a Silent Soldier should look

Unhappy residents took to Facebook, with one declaring "This is woke gone too far", before adding [it] "makes a mockery and is insulting to all those who lost their lives".

Another said: "I can’t see a problem with them having rifles (and, yes, I do have children, and no, they never have had toy guns, I don’t think that’s right, but they do know there is a right situation for them) that’s a part of warfare.

"Yes, guns are a problem in our world, but if you educate children right, they should know the difference."

A third person added: "Seriously? I can't believe they have been removed. It's censoring something that should not be censored."

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