New war graves sign for vandal-hit Radnor Street cemetery

The damaged sign

The damaged sign

First published in News by , Reporter

A NEW sign commemorating the Commonwealth War Graves at Radnor Street Cemetery will be put up today after an existing one was vandalised over the weekend.

The broken sign at the Deacon Street entrance was one of three erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), last month, to acknowledge 3,000 sites across the country which have graves of those who died in military conflict.

The cemetery, in Kingshill, has 104 Commonwealth War Graves and the commission felt that putting up the signs was a fitting way to mark the First World War centenary, which falls later this year.

Peter Francis, CWGC’s media and marketing manager, said: “The signage programme is part of the CWGC’s efforts to raise awareness of the war graves we maintain in the UK and it is therefore upsetting to see these efforts treated in this manner.

“We will not allow such acts to distract from our work to honour those who died in the two world wars and will restore the signage as soon as we can.”

Alan Baker, Swindon Royal British Legion chairman, described the vandalism as disgusting and disrespectful but was pleased at how swiftly the issue is being dealt with.

He said: “I and every member of the Royal British Legion are hugely grateful that a new sign will be going up soon.

“It is nice to see that there are still good people looking to do good by putting these signs up and it takes the attention away from those bad people out there who have caused this trouble.”

Graham Carter, editor of Swindon Heritage magazine, said that he was shocked someone would tarnish the servicemens’ memory by committing the vandalism.

He said: “The initial feeling when you see something like this is one of anger and then you do wonder whether the person responsible could be familiar with the sacrifices the 104 servicemen in that cemetery gave. Even if the person responsible doesn’t agree with war they should respect those 104 people.

“I’m amazed that if anyone has heard the stories of the First and Second World War that they would do something like this.

“I think there may have been a failure in education here. They need to be sat down in the classroom and taught how wrong this vandalism is.”

Comments (4)

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10:48am Tue 20 May 14

Andy__ says...

This is clearly an accident, rather than deliberate vandalism.

The cemetery is a popular shortcut, so when it is shut people climb over the gates. A plastic sign at a height which provides a convenient foothold is bound to get broken.
This is clearly an accident, rather than deliberate vandalism. The cemetery is a popular shortcut, so when it is shut people climb over the gates. A plastic sign at a height which provides a convenient foothold is bound to get broken. Andy__
  • Score: -1

5:46pm Tue 20 May 14

Jill in Old Town says...

The signs in question were on flimsy corrugated plastic - I think Andy's suggestion that someone tried to climb in using the signs as footholds is definitely the right one. When they went up I thought they were probably just temporary and would be replaced with something more substantial in due course. Maybe larger, more obvious signs inside the cemetery , which could be seen but not accessed from outside the gates, would be a good replacement.
The signs in question were on flimsy corrugated plastic - I think Andy's suggestion that someone tried to climb in using the signs as footholds is definitely the right one. When they went up I thought they were probably just temporary and would be replaced with something more substantial in due course. Maybe larger, more obvious signs inside the cemetery , which could be seen but not accessed from outside the gates, would be a good replacement. Jill in Old Town
  • Score: 0

6:35am Wed 21 May 14

Chowmai says...

Maybe he person who 'broke them by accident' would like to apologise and pay for the new signs.
Maybe he person who 'broke them by accident' would like to apologise and pay for the new signs. Chowmai
  • Score: 1

2:46pm Wed 21 May 14

Jill in Old Town says...

I see new signs have gone up on the gates, made of a more durable material. But I can see the same thing happening again...........hand
y footholds over the gate at night.
I see new signs have gone up on the gates, made of a more durable material. But I can see the same thing happening again...........hand y footholds over the gate at night. Jill in Old Town
  • Score: 0

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