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Vile thugs desecrate memorials to brave British soldiers

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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Mrt 2018 18:30    Onderwerp: Vile thugs desecrate memorials to brave British soldiers Reageer met quote

Vile thugs desecrate memorials to brave British soldiers who died in World War One's Battle of the Somme

An obelisk at Lochnagar Crater, where the Somme offensive began in Northern France in 1916, was toppled by vandals.

There was outrage today after the desecration of poignant memorials for British soldiers killed on the very first day of the Battle of the Somme .

Vandals hit the world famous Lochnagar Crater - scene of the start of one of the most horrendous battles in World War One .

A large heavy memorial stone ‘dedicated to the valiant women of all nations who served in the Great War’ was toppled over.

A cross dedicated to hero soldier George Nugent – whose body was only recovered at the site in 1998 - was damaged with signs of bootprints on it.

A stone dedicated to Royal Engineers was kicked over and an information panel partially destroyed.

At Lochnagar each year at 7.28am on July 1st a memorial ceremony is held to honour the British soldiers who died in the conflict.

Over 200,000 people visit the crater every year to pay their respects.

Furious Christian Bernard, the mayor of the village of Ovillers-la-Boisselle said: “There is sense of indignation and shame against the vandals who have trampled the memory of the men and women who fought for our freedoms.

“It’s not a place that attracts hatred. To my knowledge, this is the first time the site has been vandalised. I don’t think it was committed by local people.

“They respect the place, it is only to see the crowd that there are ceremonies each year.”

Stunned French gendarmes and local officials have already tried to repair the damage.

Owner of the site Richard Dunning, who purchased it in 1978, said: “It was very disappointing to hear about the vandalism.

“It’s shameful behaviour and I don’t know how anybody could do such a thing at such an important memorial site.

“But I would like to stress that I do not think any local people were involved.

“The people in the villages nearby have been so supportive and respectful over the years. The vandals must have been outsiders.

“And I suspect they may have been disturbed before they could carry out any more damage. The memorial stone is large and it must have taken three men to push that over.”

The huge crater is where an underground explosive charge was secretly planted by the British,ready for 1 July 1916, the first day on the Somme.

The mine was dug by the Tunnelling Companies of the Royal Engineers right under a German field fortification

Detectives have already taken fingerprints and are investigating.
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