Worthing First World War memorial damaged in ‘act of stupidity and disrespect’

The damage to the Garden of Remembrance SUS-180511-140814001
The damage to the Garden of Remembrance SUS-180511-140814001

A memorial to the soldiers from Worthing who fought in the First World War has been damaged in ‘an act of stupidity and disrespect’.

More than 600 handmade crosses, each with a knitted poppy, have been planted in front of Worthing Town Hall in a Garden of Remembrance – one cross for every Worthing soldier on the war memorial.

Some of the tributes already planted in front of Worthing Town Hall SUS-180111-104112001

Some of the tributes already planted in front of Worthing Town Hall SUS-180111-104112001

Councillor Tom Wye, who has been leading remembrance projects across Worthing, said he arrived on Sunday morning to see several crosses had been knocked down.

He said CCTV footage showed it was a group of around 10 young people trying to jump over the tributes.

“I was just grateful that it wasn’t an act of vandalism,” said Mr Wye.

“It was just an act of stupidity and disrespect from 10 young, young youngsters.

Councillor Tom Wye with some of the crosses SUS-180111-104051001

Councillor Tom Wye with some of the crosses SUS-180111-104051001

“Watching the video for the three or four hours beforehand, the vast number of people walked around the memorial with respect.

“These were definitely in the minority.”

He said the crosses had been replanted and the Garden of Remembrance was back to its original state.

The garden is part of a wider tribute at Worthing Town Hall, including a crimson waterfall of more than 7,000 knitted poppies at the front of the building.
Mr Wye said Remembrance Day is important in remembering all soldiers affected by conflict.

“I spent all my adult life in the army and this is a time when all soldiers remember mates who didn’t come back,” he said.

“I think it is very important that, even though we are honouring those from the First World War, this Remembrance Sunday is about all soldiers through history.”

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