Kind-hearted Legion helps replace bike stolen while cadet sold poppies

KIND-HEARTED Royal British Legion members leapt into action to replace an Army cadet’s beloved bike after it was stolen as he sold poppies.

Harry Johnson was left devastated when thieves cut through the lock and rode away with his pride and joy as he sold emblems at Asda supermarket in Shaw.

Brian Douglas, left and Carl Holly present the money to Michelle, Harry and Keith Johnson

However, the Royton branch of the RBL was not going to stand by and watch idly – members decided quickly that something needed to be done.

And after their collection was rounded up to £300, a new bike was found and presented to Harry at the Royton branch of the Greater Manchester Army Cadets at Royton and Crompton School.

Parents Keith and Michelle recalled the upset over the theft, which has never been solved and the bike has not been recovered.

The 13-year-old’s father said: “Harry isn’t really one that sits in front of an Xbox, so the bike will definitely get plenty of use.

“It’s good for his independence as it means he can get about a lot more now – and it has already been tagged and marked. We’re looking at getting a tracker put on it too.

“Harry was devastated when it happened. The bike was last year’s Christmas present and even though we replaced it, we didn’t know everyone was going to have a whipround to help.

Brian, Luke Goodall, Harry, Jack Horrocks, Carl, (front) Ellie Mead and Brandon Sham

“It makes a big change. Sometimes you lose faith in people when something like that happens but all the good in people came out afterwards.”

Mum Michelle, of Milnrow, added: “It was overwhelming when we were told about the money that had been raised.

“Harry phoned me up after it happened and he was devastated.”

Carl Holly, president of the Royton Royal British Legion, told Harry’s parents that he was “absolutely fuming” when the theft happened on Saturday, November 10 – the day before Remembrance Day.

Their members contributed a total of £120 and businessman Mike Mahoney of Clean Enviro volunteered to top it up to £300.

And the orange Carrera bike is now getting used in a much-loved home.

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