Saturday, 21 March 2009

Swastika graffiti insult to war dead

War Memorial defaced by a large spray painted SwastikaWAR veterans were reduced to tears after mindless vandals defaced a Fylde coast War Memorial.
Blue swastikas were sprayed on and around the monument in Fleetwood.

And among the stunned people who queued up to condemn the damage was Frank Bee, 83, a former Royal Navy man who took part in the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War.

Fighting back tears he said: "I have two pals whose names are on there. I'm lost for words. Why do people do these things?"

Chairman of Fleetwood Royal Naval Association Brian Welling added: "I'm disgusted. The people who have done this will brag about it so someone will know who has done it."

The desecration in Memorial Park comes just two weeks after the funeral of Fleetwood's latest war victim, Marine Darren Smith who died in Afghanistan. His name has yet to be added to the roll.

Ron Kennedy of the King's Own Association said: "I'm speechless. It's just crazy."

Local councillor Ruth Duffy said: "I'm appalled. You can't fathom out what goes through the brains of these idiots.

"And it's so terrible after we have lost a young lad, Daz Smith. I'm shocked someone in Fleetwood could stoop so low."

Police found spray cans in bushes close to the memorial and are carrying out house-to-house inquiries.

Insp Dave Vickers pledged: "We're going to leave no stone unturned in relation to this despicable crime. As soon as the person responsible comes forward and admits their actions, the better for them."

Within hours of the graffiti being found yesterday morning, Wyre Council workers had begun cleaning it off.

Coun Lynne Bowen, living places portfolio holder for Wyre Council, said: "Acts of vandalism are always taken seriously in Wyre, but to deface something that honours people who have died serving their country is downright disrespectful.

"We are consulting specialists to see how the memorial can be protected."

Blackpool Gazette
10 March 2009