Vandals smash up war graves of British soldiers as veterans prepare to commemorate D-Day

British war graves have been smashed by vandals - just days before the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Twenty graves were damaged at the Church Bank Cemetery in Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The yobs used a concrete slab to smash vases and headstones, leaving rubble strewn everywhere.

The attack, made all the more shameful by the approach of tomorrow's memorial ceremony in Normandy, has been widely condemned. One local said: 'I was in tears when I saw the damage. The sick vandals smashed up war graves without any thought.

'The stones were erected in memory of brave soldiers who gave their lives fighting for this country. To see them destroyed in this way made me fill up. It was a despicable thing to do.'
A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: 'We see this sort of thing all too often nowadays. It's an absolute disgrace.

'There are no words to describe this sort of behaviour, bearing in mind we are just a day away from the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Why would anyone want to do this?' The graves vandalised on Sunday night included those of soldiers from the Great War and the Second World War, such as Home Guard volunteer Thomas Abson, who was killed in 1941 at the age of 54.


His great great-grandson Vaughan Beattie said: 'I was always very proud that somebody from my family had fought for his country.

'I was in the Army Cadets when I was a boy and each year we held a memorial service at the Cenotaph next to the graveyard where he is buried.'

Mr Beattie added: 'It's absolutely heartless that people have smashed his gravestone.
'The people who did this are nothing but mindless thugs.

'For many families the only memories they have of loved ones who died in the war are their graves. It is disgusting that that has been ruined for many proud families.'


Stanley Dobson, 84, treasurer of the Normandy Veterans' Association, said: 'I think it is a terrible thing when any grave is desecrated.


'It is especially sad when it is the grave of someone who gave their life fighting for their country.'
Police are investigating the attack on the council cemetery.



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