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A moving tribute to war dead

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 03, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • George's tribute to fallen servicemen

  • George will use the car to raise funds

  • George Marsh and his poppy Mini

  • The eye-catching commemorative car

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IF YOU were at the Armed Forces Day event at Himley Hall last weekend you may have seen this distinctive little motor decked out as a tribute to the fallen of the world wars.

George Marsh, of Hawbush, Brierley Hill wanted to combine two great British icons – the red poppy of remembrance and Britain's best-loved motor car, the Mini.

A keen Mini fanatic, George bought the car two years ago, to go with the red one he already had, and had the idea of decorating it as a tribute to the fallen of Britain's armed services.

This year's 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War gave him added inspiration and impetus to get the car completed.

George said, "I had the idea of a poppy theme as soon as I got it. It was white with a black roof, and though it was road-worthy, it needed a fair bit of TLC.

"They are a popular car anyway, but I thought I could make it even better. I'd seen the British Legion umbrellas with the poppy designs on, and I think that must have given me the idea."

The car is decorated with specially made one-off transfers. The big poppy on the roof was made by Sign Wizards of Cradley Heath. George had the transfers ready for two years and has been dying to put them on, but he had to wait until the paintwork was finished and that was done only a couple of weeks ago.

George has been collecting medals, bayonets and other militaria for 20 years or so and has always been interested in military history. His father Alfred Marsh was wounded at Dunkirk and his brother, also named Alfred, served in the Foreign Legion.

George regularly attends the British Mini Club show at Himley Hall and other shows and he will be displaying his poppy Mini and raising money for the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

"I was determined to get it finished in time for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War," said George. "We should make sure we never forget those men. I never miss a poppy parade in Dudley, and I'll be going up in the car this year."

Have you marked this year's Great War centenary in a special way? Contact editor@blackcountrybugle.co.uk, log on at www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk or write to 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL

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