Search

Statue of Elm Park soldier killed in Afghan suicide attack stolen from Dagenham park

PUBLISHED: 16:24 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 23 August 2017

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

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

Archant

A statue honouring the memory of a soldier killed in action has been stolen by vandals.

Ian Fisher's sons on the portrait bench in October 2015. Picture: Helen Fisher Ian Fisher's sons on the portrait bench in October 2015. Picture: Helen Fisher

The portrait bench in Beam Valley Country Park, Dagenham, was destroyed after vandals cut stole a metal sculpture of warrant officer Ian Fisher, 42.

He died on the final day of an operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in November 2013, and his elderly parents now face a three to four hour drive up to where he is buried.

“It takes three to four hours to drive to Litchfield, it’s near Stoke-on-Trent. It isn’t just round the corner,” said Mrs Fisher, 73, of Ambleside Avenue, Elm Park.

“It [the sculpture] is our memorial to him. It’s our local spot where we can go and contemplate.

“To do this to the statue... it’s hurtful to us, to see him hacked down.”

“Whoever has done it, I hope they get their comeuppance.”

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

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

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

It came about through a joint effort between Havering and Barking and Dagenham councils and was installed by charity Sustrans, which delivered the GLA-funded project in October 2015.

“I can only assume it’s vandals or somebody after the scrap metal,” continued Mrs Fisher.

“I would say it’s quite possible they will come back to cut the other ones.”

Mrs Fisher and her husband Simon, 71, were alerted to the theft by a friend who had walked their dog in the area.

Warrent Officer Ian Fisher on parade. Picture: Sgt Russ Nolan RLC Warrent Officer Ian Fisher on parade. Picture: Sgt Russ Nolan RLC

“I felt disgusted quite frankly. There’s no other words for it. I was sad and upset,” she added.

“The three figures were voted for by the public.

“It’s not just us they are getting at, it is the public.”

Sustrans head of infrastructure, Tom Sharland said: “We’re appalled that vandals have stolen the sculpture of Ian Fisher and saddened to hear of the anguish it’s caused his family.

“We will be talking to the borough as a matter of urgency and exploring what opportunities are available to help fund a replacement sculpture.”

Latest Romford News Stories

50 minutes ago

Hundreds of families gathered in Romford Market on Thursday for the annual Christmas lights switch-on we have all been waiting for.

A Rainham pub which had its licence suspended following police reports of serious disorder will have its appeal against the decision finally decided this morning, Monday, November 20.

Yesterday, 15:00

Just 130 years ago, Hornchurch was a quaint town with gabled houses, says Prof Ged Martin

Moped gangs and knife crime often go hand-in-hand – and are among the gravest fears of residents in Havering.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Did you know that when you can’t see the Moon in the sky, he’s actually down here on earth, suited and booted and fighting crime?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Shortage of daylight makes us grumpier

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Havering has thrown its hat into the ring for the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture initiative and residents can play a part.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now