Edinburgh war memorial fire: Investigation launched after Edinburgh's war memorial set on fire by vandals

Police are investigating after an Edinburgh war memorial was set on fire in an act of vandalism that Nicola Sturgeon has described as “sickening and disgraceful”.

Organisers are “devastated” after Remembrance Sunday memorial wreaths were deliberately set on fire in Edinburgh. Police confirmed they were investigating after the memorial poppy wreaths, which were laid at the Stone of Remembrance on Sunday as a mark of respect to the fallen, were found torched around 5am on Monday morning on the memorial at City Chambers.

Police are urging anyone with information to come forward. Chief Inspector Murray Tait, local area commander, said: “Our enquiries are ongoing after poppy wreaths were set on fire at the war memorial in High Street, Edinburgh around 5am on Monday, November 14.

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“Officers are carrying out enquiries and gathering CCTV footage to find out more information on whoever is responsible. I utterly condemn this appalling act of vandalism, especially at this time of year when remembrance services have just been held across the country.

The Remembrance wreaths laid at the war memorial in Edinburgh's City Chambers were set on fire (John White)

“If anyone has any information that will assist our investigation, please contact officers through 101 with reference number 601 of November 14.”

Organisers from Poppyscotland attended the memorial in “devastation”. Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland said: “We are appalled by this absolutely senseless act of vandalism. These wreaths were laid in memory of the men and women who sacrificed their lives, and this destruction shows a complete lack of respect for everything they and the Stone of Remembrance stand for.

“This will be extremely upsetting for all the veterans, serving personnel and family members who paid their respects yesterday, especially those who have lost loved ones. We will be doing everything we can to assist Police Scotland with their investigation of this matter.”

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Utterly beyond comprehension that someone would vandalise a war memorial on Remembrance Day – sickening and disgraceful. I hope those responsible are identified and brought to justice.”

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge said: “It was my honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the City of Edinburgh to remember those who served and sacrificed so much. The vandalism discovered this morning not only to the recently laid wreaths, but also Edinburgh’s Stone of Remembrance is disgusting and disrespectful.

"We remain at a loss for the reasons someone could do something like this, which has caused a lot of upset for everyone who respects the memories of all who serve their country. We have reported this to the police and would urge anyone who knows anything about what happened to contact them.”

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Lothian MSP Miles Briggs said: “This mindless act of vandalism is an absolutely appalling insult towards our fallen war heroes. It is totally disgraceful that less than 24 hours after typically poignant Remembrance Sunday services in the capital that moronic idiots would engage in burning tributes laid for our soldiers.

“It is a show of total disrespect towards those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Sadly attacks on war memorials like this are on the increase in Scotland.”

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