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Dozens of life-size 'Silent Silhouettes' honouring our fallen World War I heroes are being defaced by vandals across Britain (4 Pics)

They commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War – a reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by a courageous generation.
But The Mail on Sunday has found that across the country dozens of Remembrance Day ‘Silent Silhouettes’ have been defaced and smashed up.
The lifesize cut-outs of Great War servicemen and women – some wooden, some metal – were designed by the Royal British Legion and fixed on buildings and installed in gardens, fields and roundabouts.
‘Silent Silhouettes’ vandalised in St Helens, Devon
But amid a rash of mindless vandalism, uplifting stories have emerged, with communities evoking the determined spirit of wartime Britain to ensure the memorials will stand again in time for Armistice Day.
Thugs snapped one statue in half, vandalised five others and stole a seventh during a series of attacks in Devon.
Teenagers in one town, Axminster, responded by repairing one ‘Tommy’ in their school workshop and reading out statements in tribute to fallen troops in a public ceremony.
As they laid a wreath beside the mended figure in the form of linked hands bearing their names, a pupil announced: ‘We are here today to show you that we as young people do care.
‘We care about the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought for our country.’
Another said: ‘We were appalled to hear from our headteacher that some young people had damaged Tommy... we wanted to do something about it so we have had Tommy repaired in school and are bringing him back to his rightful place.’

Meanwhile, mutilated statutes placed around the town’s war memorial and nearby streets were fixed by local carpenter Nigel Collings.
And in Southampton, war veteran Martin Hance, 36, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, repaired a Tommy that was attacked a few hundred yards from his home.
In Southampton, war veteran Martin Hance, 36, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, repaired a Tommy that was attacked a few hundred yards from his home 

Overnight vandals removed three of the five bolts holding the figure and left it ‘hideously out of shape’. 
‘I had not even had time to go to the site and pay my respects properly,’ explained Mr Hance, who served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 13 years. 
‘My time in the Army included three tours to Iraq and one to Afganistan. I watched people I was very close to die in action so you can imagine my feelings.’ 
Elsewhere, vandals ripped the rifle from another statue in a remembrance garden on the outskirts of Market Deeping, Lincolnshire. 
But metalworker Micky Culff made a new silhouette from 4mm steel as a replacement.
In Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, vandals snapped the head off a Tommy placed at the town’s bandstand. 
The figure was one of 32 dotted around the town and nearby villages by the local RBL.
Branch chairman Graham Aplin said: ‘The irony is that I bet someone from their family took part in the First World War. It makes me very sad.’

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