Anger as memorial defaced

ROYAL British Legion chiefs today expressed outrage over "mindless" graffiti left by vandals on a memorial to Ipswich's war dead.Writing discovered on the memorial in Christchurch Park has left the legion's Ipswich branch reeling and has prompted a call for wider awareness of the sacrifices made by the county's servicemen and women.

ROYAL British Legion chiefs today expressed outrage over "mindless" graffiti left by vandals on a memorial to Ipswich's war dead.

Writing discovered on the memorial in Christchurch Park has left the legion's Ipswich branch reeling and has prompted a call for wider awareness of the sacrifices made by the county's servicemen and women.

Peter Thompson, chairman of the legion's Ipswich branch, condemned the graffiti left on the one-year-old memorial as sickening.

He said: "It is mindless. They've written love messages.

"The men on that memorial gave their lives for our freedom not for people to do things like this.

"They are honourable men who gave their lives. They all lived in Ipswich and gave their bit and some idiot goes and does something like this."

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Ipswich residents raised £120,000 for the construction of the memorial and yesterday marked exactly a year since it was unveiled as the city's premier tribute to those who died at war.

Earlier this month the memorial was the scene of VE Day celebrations, which saw war veterans lay wreaths to pay tribute to their fallen comrades.

It was less than a week later when the memorial was targeted by vandals armed with felt pens who daubed the love messages close to the nearly 2,000 names of war dead.

Mr Thompson said: "It is definitely a child that has done it. They think it's a great laugh.

"Schools need to bring this subject into the forefront so that the kids realise exactly what those men on the memorial did.

"It just makes you feel sick that people can do this sort of thing."

A stonemason used by the legion's Ipswich branch discovered the graffiti and this week he will apply chemicals in an attempt to remove the pen marks.

Mr Thompson said: "If it's not stopped they'll use it as a chalking ground.

"These felt tip pens can soak into the stone."

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