A rental tank driven to a Remembrance Day service by two former soldiers crashed in a war memorial garden after “someone forgot to put on the handbrake”.
Local councilor Mark Fearn and former mayor Andy Langdon spent Â£ 950 on the eight-ton Scimitar for the waterfall in Bollington, Cheshire.
But the 7.8-ton machine rolled through the memorial’s doors, shattering them to pieces after the crash.
Fearn admitted he caused the crash – and the debacle left him “a little embarrassed, to say the least.”
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The Royal British Legion has launched an investigation into the stunt, which it deemed “completely inappropriate”.
One villager said: “You couldn’t have written it – it was like something from daddy’s army.”
âThe locals had been told there was a surprise and we had been guessing all week what it would be.
“Suddenly, I was told that he had demolished the gates of the memorial garden.”
Fearn and Langdon hired the tank – which costs from Â£ 950 a day – and got out of the turret to drive until the minute’s silence.
According to a villager, the vehicle was parked near the entrance to the memorial gardens before hitting the stone and metal gates.
One villager said, âThey were waving and laughing as they walked through the village.
âWhen they pulled over I think they left the handbrake on and it crashed into the post in the Memorial Garden.
“Or they could have put it upside down, I don’t know what happened.”
In a post to the community’s Facebook group, Fearn confessed “It was me” when someone asked if Andy Langdon caused the disaster.
He then added ‘Oops. A little embarrassed to say the least ‘and’ I will make a personal donation to RBL ‘.
Photos show how the door was torn from its frame and several concrete blocks are believed to have been knocked over from the stone post.
Friendly locals intervened the same day to repair the damage.
A Facebook comment from Fearn recounted how he had also worked alongside the team “to repair the damage that I have done.”
He commented: âThe repair work is now almost complete and actually looks better than before it was overturned. “
Despite the incident, some applauded the gesture.
One of them commented on Facebook: âAccidents happen, and with the goodwill of a generous community, they are being rectified.
âGreat idea to have an old operational vehicle present in the first place. “
An RBL spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident in Bollington on Armistice Day and our team of members are currently investigating.
“We didn’t know in advance that this vehicle would be used on Thursday, and that is totally inappropriate.”
Andy Langdon declined to comment. Mark Fearn could not be reached for comment.
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