Vandal destroys village memorial

PUBLISHED: 06:08 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 21:21 29 May 2010

Peter Cast with the cross knocked down from the war memorial - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Peter Cast with the cross knocked down from the war memorial - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

A COLD-HEARTED vandal who desecrated Finchingfield s war memorial is being urged to give themselves up to the police. The stone cross at the top of the 20-foot column in the centre of the village was broken off at about midnight on Saturday, September 16,

A COLD-HEARTED vandal who desecrated Finchingfield's war memorial is being urged to give themselves up to the police.

The stone cross at the top of the 20-foot column in the centre of the village was broken off at about midnight on Saturday, September 16, with police believing it gave way when someone climbed the memorial as a prank.

Investigating officer, PC Peter Carter, said initial enquiries have revealed a teenage boy was taken from near the memorial by ambulance to Broomfield Hospital with a broken ankle shortly after the damage occurred.

"We have a name for the injured boy and we shall be following up the inquiry, but whoever caused the damage may feel it would be better to come forward without more ado and give an explanation," he said.

"I am also keen to hear from anyone else who saw the damage occurring or who has other information."

Chairman of the Finchingfield and District branch of the Royal British Legion, Major Christopher Reynolds-Jones, said the act of mindless vandalism had upset many people.

"Brave men gave their lives fighting to defend their country and so it's extremely upsetting that somebody has decided to vandalise the war memorial," he said.

"It's very distressing to know that someone has deliberately gone out of their way to do damage to something which is very special and means a lot to so many people.

"All right-thinking people would be shocked by any act similar to this. The sadness is not restricted simply to the families of soldiers who fought and died for their country."

Peter Cast, branch secretary and Finchingfield resident, said although the repairs would be completed for the remembrance ceremony on November 11, it was still a sorry episode.

"I was very, very angry at the time about the vandalism but now I just think it is very sad and was a very silly thing to do," he said.

"It had stood there, untouched and unsullied, as a statement of gratitude from the public to those who lost their lives in the two World Wars for more than 60 years.

"There is no doubt it was a foolish, stupid and unnecessary act and it was a great pity it happened, but gladly the repair work to the plinth and cross will be completed by November 11."

Anyone who has any information should contact PC Carter of the Shalford Neighbourhood Policing Team on 07791 402113.

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