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Stolen statue of Elm Park soldier who died in Afghan suicide attack found dumped in river

PUBLISHED: 18:10 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:10 27 September 2018

The statue of Elm Park solider Ian Fisher was found dumped in the River Beam.

The statue of Elm Park solider Ian Fisher was found dumped in the River Beam.

Archant

The statue of Ian Fisher was stolen last August, and just a day after the council paid for a replacement the original was found dumped in the River Beam.

Helen and Simon Fisher, their son Ian was killed in Afghanistan just over two years ago.
Helen and Simon Fisher, their son Ian was killed in Afghanistan just over two years ago.

The statue of an Elm Park soldier who was killed in action has been found the day after a replacement was put up. Warrant Officer Ian Fisher, 42, died on the final day of an operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in November 2013. In 2015 a memorial bench and statue was installed in Beam Valley Country Park, Dagenham, in his memory.

Last August vandals cut down the metal sculpture of Ian and stole it.

The statue of Elm Park solider Ian Fisher has been replaced after it was stolen by vandals last year.The statue of Elm Park solider Ian Fisher has been replaced after it was stolen by vandals last year.

Two weeks ago Barking and Dagenham Council paid for a new statue to be put up in the park, and just a day later workmen found the original in the River Beam - where is is thought it has been since it was stolen.

Ian died after a meeting with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) was attacked by a suicide vehicle improvised to become an explosive device.

Elm Park soldier Ian Fisher who died in Afghanistan in 2013.Elm Park soldier Ian Fisher who died in Afghanistan in 2013.

The bench also features sculptures of folk singer Billy Bragg and Ford sewing machinists who fought for equal pay.

The original statue will now be given to Ian’s mum, Helen, and she said that she is going to find space for it in her garden.

Simon and Helen Fisher by the remains of the statue of their son Warrant Officer Ian Fisher who died in action in Afghanistan in 2013Simon and Helen Fisher by the remains of the statue of their son Warrant Officer Ian Fisher who died in action in Afghanistan in 2013

She said: “It is wonderful that the council have paid for a replacement, and they have also said that there is going to be a new information board which means more people will be able to read about why the statues are there, and hopefully more people will take notice of them.

“The important thing is that there is a new statue, it is uncanny how the old one turned up a day after it had been replaced, but I couldn’t let it be thrown away so we will be putting it in the garden somewhere.”

The statue of Elm Park solider Ian Fisher has been replaced after it was stolen by vandals last year.The statue of Elm Park solider Ian Fisher has been replaced after it was stolen by vandals last year.

The statue cost Barking and Dagenham Council more than £2,500 to replace.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “It is only right that the statue has been replaced and we continue to pay tribute to a man who showed such bravery for his country.”

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