War veteran ‘sickened and heartbroken’ after vandals damage Whittlesey memorial

15:16 07 January 2013

Whittlesey memorial damage.

Whittlesey memorial damage.

Archant

A WAR veteran has been left sickened and heartbroken after Whittlesey’s memorial to Cambridgeshire’s fallen soldiers was vandalised.

The £500 plinth was installed in Queen Street in October thanks to the hard work of Pop Whitwell, secretary of the Whittlesey and Peterborough branch of the Cambridgeshire Regiment Association.

But, just three months later, Mr Whitwell found that the memorial cross had been snapped and the poppy wreath damaged.

The 76-year-old said: “I was dismayed and utterly disgusted to see that the cross was broken and the wreath was stuffed down next to the plinth. I was heartbroken to see it.

“The people responsible perhaps do not realise that it was put there in memory of the Cambridgeshire Regiment and the Royal Anglian Regiment.

“Those are soldiers who gave their lives so that these mindless people can live in peace and go about this town freely. It sickens me.

“The people behind this need catching and the full weight of the law should come down on them.”

Mr Whitwell, who served in the Suffolk regiment for three years, said he hoped to repair the memorial and get a new cross.

A police spokesman said: “We have received a report of damage to the war memorial in Queen Street.

“It is not known when exactly the incident happened but it has caused several hundred pounds worth of damage.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who has any information about this crime via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

A minute’s silence was held when the plinth was unveiled by Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Freddie Grounds, last year.

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