A man found battered to death on waste ground is believed to have been killed simply because he was not wearing a Remembrance Day poppy. His death is being treated by police as a ‘charity initiative that may have gone a little too far’.
Ironically, the victim, named locally as Roland Richardson, was himself a veteran of the Falklands conflict. Although he was not wearing a poppy on the day of his death, it is thought that this was simply because he had not transferred his poppy to his jacket when going out that morning.
According to local reports, Mr Richardson’s refusal to buy a poppy from a seller on the grounds that he had ‘already bought one’ had not gone down well with the seller or several bystanders in the shopping precinct.
“The lack of respect people like him show is appalling,” said one local before knowing the facts. “Don’t they realise that our brave soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan so that people like him can walk safely around our streets? He deserved what he got if you ask me.”
Appalled by the Mr Richardson’s death, a protest group calling themselves ‘Help for Anti-Heroes’ has been formed campaigning for the right not to wear poppies and for a tomb of the Unknown Civilian to be installed in Westminster Abbey.
Displaying an everyday paper clip on his lapel as a mark of respect, a spokesman criticised what he described as poppy fascism. “No TV presenter dares be seen on screen without a poppy from the beginning of September onwards,” he observed, “we seem to be encouraging the very thing we fought against in the last World War.”
Meanwhile Mr Richardson’s widow, Susan, has rejected an offer from the Military Wives choir to sing at his funeral. “It wouldn’t seem appropriate,” she said, “although he was proud of his service record, my Roland was a devoted music lover.”