A TOWN centre gathered in solidarity to unveil a new commemoration to fallen soldiers.

Mold Town Council unveiled the new ‘Silent Solider’ frame to residents at the Daniel Owen Square after the statue was damaged twice in the space of one week.

Video by Geoff Abbott

Residents, town councillors, veterans, police officers and a local assembly member looked on as Mold’s 1378 Air Training Cadets revealed the shiny new frame of the Silent ‘Tommy.’

North Wales Police (NWP) South Flintshire launched an investigation into two acts of criminal damage and have recently released CCTV images of suspects. The ‘Silent Soldier’ silhouette marks 100 years since the ending of the First World War, but Wednesday July 25 marked the first day the incident was reported to police.

On July 31, the ‘Silent Solider’ was damaged beyond repair with visible foot prints across the metal.

Mold Town Council said it was upset to see such a significant memorial “defaced.”

A local business however felt they could not stand idly by while the memory of World War One and Two soldiers were tarnished.

Poplars Forge, a team of blacksmiths, who specialise in forging dragon sculptures, heard the news about the damaged ‘Silent Soldier’ and quickly offered their expertise in getting a replacement.

Steven Gillard, manager at Poplars Forge, said: “We knew we could help and at the end of the day, it’s about what people have done for the freedom of others.

"This soldier cost around £200-£300, but it’s very significant to the town. It’s not a hard thing to produce but it’s a fitting thing to do given the circumstances.

"I think we to need to stand up and commemorate these people that fought in the War for our freedom and it’s a disgrace to see this sort of thing getting damaged.”

Dave and Gwen Brown have been fundraising for the Mold Poppy Appeal for the past 20 years and said that the Silent Soldier donation portrayed the sense of community spirit and togetherness.

Cllr Karen Hodgkinson said in her opening speech: “It’s time to say thank you - 100 years ago the guns fell silent on the world’s first truly global war.

"We believe it is time to think about all of those who lived through this tragic and remarkable time, and who put Britain on the path to becoming what it is today.”

Hannah Blythyn AM said: “I am pleased to take part in the unveiling of the Silent solider in Mold. I’m glad to see the poignant tribute being reinstalled as a thank you to those who made a sacrifice in the First World War.”

Insp Darren Whibberley, NWP South Flintshire said: “It’s very disappointing a significant landmark has been damaged in this way but thanks to the support from the public we have identified the individual responsible and are in the process of dealing with them.

"I would ask people to to jump to conclusions of ‘mindless vandalism’ as the individual involved has personal and understandable grievances and we will be working with them to resolve that.”