A CALLOUS thief seems to have had an attack of conscience after a stolen poppy wreath was returned to Shirley War Memorial.
Members of the local Royal British Legion branch, had bought the wreath and placed it at the memorial at St James Church, Stratford Road, alongside the famous poem Who Are These Men? earlier this month.
But the next day, passing branch chairman Ernie Riley noticed that the traditional tribute had disappeared.
“It was such a spiteful and upsetting thing to do,” he said. “I just couldn’t understand why anyone does this.
“We put it there after Tom Lackey spent so much time over the winter refurbishing the memorial. It looked great and I thought a poppy wreath would really show it off to its full potential but then for someone to come along and take it is just wrong.”
However, after Mr Riley placed a letter in the Solihull News appealing for the wreath’s return, the thief has had a change of heart as the poppies reappeared at the memorial last Sunday.
“I was just so relieved,” Mr Riley added.
“It makes you feel a little better about the kind of people who would do this in the first place.”
Shirley West councillor, Dr Simon Slater (Lab) added: “It seems to be very poor taste to be stealing from war memorials although it seems to be happening a lot at the moment. It just shows how little some people care.
“At least in this case it seems to have jogged someone’s conscience into returning it.
“I’m very glad to have it back, I just hope it won’t happen again.”