THE huge stone poppy given to Royal Wootton Bassett, which collapsed last year, will not be replaced or remade.

And the town council, which owned the magnificent stone flower says it will not even be able to claim on the insurance to fund another one.

The 4.5 tonne tribute entitled Forever was installed at the end of Marlowe Way two years ago having been given to the town by its designer artist Mark Humphrey in order to commemorate the 355 fallen service personnel who were repatriated through Royal Wootton Bassett.

But mayor, Michael Farrow said because the collapse was due to a structural design fault the town council cannot claim on its insurance and it has left the Bassett without its iconic monument.

He said: “It’s a shame things have worked out the way they have, the sculpture meant everything to the town and signified an important time.

“We will certainly replace the marble poppy but this time it will most likely be a smaller version and in a metal such as bronze or something similar.”

He added: “We are still saddened that it fell apart, but in time this will be sorted.”

Mr Farrow added that the council wouldn’t be suing the Mr Humphrey for the fault as it was a gift and councillors are appreciative of the gesture, despite the memorial’s unfortunate collapse.

At the moment the remains of the marble have been put into storage on the outskirts of Wootton Bassett – although it could be that the artist might keep the remaining parts.

In a statement addressed to the residents of Wootton Bassett the council said: “We have been notified by insurers that damage to the structure was caused by its own collapse or cracking.

“Plowden & Smith an independent specialist company have advised that the poppy should not be repaired or re-manufactured.”

It added: “Regrettably, the apparent cause of the collapse falls firmly within one or more exclusions and so the town council’s insurance claim has been declined.”

Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council is now seeking ideas from the people of the town for a replacement for the poppy which has since been removed.

It may launch a new design competition for any possible replacement, and will also welcome donations of money to help pay for one

The giant grey/white marble poppy was installed on its plinth in September 2015 and officially opened by Princess Anne the Prince Royal in June 2016.

It collapsed unexpectedly on October 19 last year.

Wootton Bassett leapt into the public consciousness 10 years ago. Between 2007 and September 2011 the bodies of fallen British service personnel were transported from RAF Lyneham to Oxford, and the town’s people lined the streets , sometimes in their thousands, as each cortege passed through.

The Royal British legion gave the town a special award, and it was honoured with a patent by the Queen in 2011, giving it the new name of Royal Wootton Bassett.