Hundreds of D-Day 80th anniversary poppies stolen in Arborfield

Credit: Wokingham Aerial Photography

Hundreds of crocheted poppies made to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day have been stolen in Berkshire.

Around 700 small purple poppies were sewn on to three saddle cloths by the Barkham Hookers crochet group and placed on three life sized horse statues in Arborfield Green.

But just a day after the creations went on display, two of the saddle cloths and two crocheted helmets were stolen.

Barkham Hookers leader Gaynor White said: "I am disappointed more than anything. We've had lots of our postbox toppers go missing in the past, but I genuinely thought this would be different.

  • Gaynor White, Barkham Hookers

"The saddle clothes were tied on with cable ties. I can't see why anybody, one, would take them but two, why would they want them?"

Every year, the Barkham Hookers raise money for the Royal British Legion by crocheting hundreds of poppies.

This year, they wanted to make their work even more special by including horses and purple poppies to remember the animals that were lost in the war.

The group have been working on the project for five months and have also decorated 20 post boxes in the area with D-Day themed toppers.

The decorated horse sculptures in Arborfield Green Credit: Wokingham Aerial Photography

The three life-size bronze horses were designed by Hampshire sculptor Amy Goodman and unveiled in Arborfield in 2021.

They are a focal point for the new housing development at the former Arborfield Garrison and a reminder of the history of the site.

Arborfield Garrison was originally established as a horse hospital and thousands of horses were treated there during World War 1.

An appeal has been made by the Barkham Hookers for the return of the poppies, no questions asked.

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