The Pen Warehouse and Snap Products chose to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI by placing a commemorative soldier outside their offices in Aldershot, however the soldier was stolen less than two weeks later on July 25.
Staff members named the cut-out silhouette of the WWI serviceman George. It was created by the Royal British Legion to remember the brave men and women of our armed forces and what they sacrificed for our freedom.
When the theft was discovered HR manager Grace Mitchell contacted the police and local media. The story of the missing soldier was covered on Eagle Radio, a local newspaper, a local TV channel and even BBC News.
Members of staff from both The Pen Warehouse and Snap Products also took to social media in a campaign to track down the Silent Soldier. The activity attracted the attention of Keith Bean from Historic Aldershot who set up a Just Giving page to raise funds for a replacement. Generous members of the public donated, many in memory of family members who had fought in the war, and over £2,100 was raised. This was enough to buy Silent Soldiers for several sites, including a nearby park and local schools.
The Pen Warehouse and Snap Products were delighted to receive a replacement soldier. Mick Mills from Aldershot British Legion met with Ms Mitchell and Jo Cheesman to present the new recruit.
A final twist in the tale saw a local taxi driver find George dumped in a cemetery on July 27. He was sporting a few war wounds and was returned home to be placed back on display.
The Pen Warehouse and Snap Products would like to thank everyone who was involved in bringing George home and to those who helped raise money for the British Legion to fund more commemorative soldiers.