A MEMORIAL bench dedicated to a Pershore sailor who served during the Second World War has been vandalised just days before the town welcomes international visitors to its Remembrance Sunday service.
The Percy Newell bench in Pershore’s Commemorative Garden, which serves as a tribute to one of the founding members of the Pershore Royal Navy Association, has had graffiti scrawled across it.
It is not the first time the garden, which cost £10,000, has been targeted by vandals. In June this year the stone plaque had red liquid thrown at it.
Pershore RNA treasurer Shipmate Terry Brimmell said: “The damage has shocked and hurt us deeply. “It took years to build this open-air memorial garden and we’d hoped it would be treated with respect.”
Dave Hemming, community safety manager, said the incident was a great shame.
“The garden is being regularly visited by myself, the detached youth team and the police, to try and avoid anything like this occurring in the future,” he said.
The RNA is now calling for CCTV in the garden and the town council has supported this request. However, Wychavon District Council said it had no further budget to extend CCTV.
The graffiti has been removed but the incident happened just days before a Remembrance Sunday service and parade, which will be attended by Lieutenant Commander Jasen Webster, representing the Canadian High Commission, and Charles Baker, the Canadian nephew of one of the airmen buried in Pershore Cemetery.
It is the second time the nephew of Alton O’Neil, who died after his Wellington bomber crashed at Rowney Green, Alvechurch, in 1943, has visited the town and his first time at a British remembrance service.
Mr Baker, who got in touch with district councillor Judy Pearce after reading about the naming of roads in the town after Canadian servicemen in an Ottawa newspaper, said: “It has been wonderful talking with people in Pershore.
“It is quite a poignant event, just to see so many air crew buried and the fact he was the only family member who lost his life in the war.”