Outrage after thugs smash WW1 war graves

The graves smashed. Picture: SWNS
The graves smashed. Picture: SWNS
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Mindless thugs smashed war graves dedicated to soldiers who died fighting in World War One - days ahead of the centenary of Armistice Day.

The three vandalised war graves in Dalziel Cemetery, North Lanarkshire, were marked with a form of pedestal stone in 2016.

One of the graves. Picture: SWNS

One of the graves. Picture: SWNS

But the stones were deliberately smashed, sparking outrage from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

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One of the men, Private A Little, died on October 30, 1918 while serving in the Gordon Highlanders - only a matter of days before the war ended.

Another grave was dedicated to Private R,A Murhead, who served in the Seaforth Highlanders and died on March 26, 1915.

Iain Anderson, the CWGC’s manager for war graves in Scotland said: “In a few days we are due to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

“It beggars belief that someone could do this at any time but at this time of year it is particularly upsetting.

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“We are sending a team of our craftsmen to the cemetery to see what can be done.

“Those markers beyond repair will be placed on priority order, while we hope others can be repaired.

“We are also working with the local authorities on this matter.

“We will restore the war graves to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those buried here as soon as possible and will never allow such acts to diminish the memory of those who paid so high a price for the freedoms we enjoy.”

Jim Logue, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council said: “We were appalled to learn of this mindless act of vandalism within a cemetery.

“At a time when the nation is preparing to mark the Centenary of the end of the Great War, this despicable act is all the more galling.

“We are urgently meeting with the War Graves Commission to discuss what action can be taken to make repairs.

“I would urge anyone with information about this hideous crime to contact the police.”