A GROUP of travellers has been forced to apologise for setting up camp at a war memorial in Bradford.
But their actions caused outrage in Low Moor today when four caravans appeared on the Cenotaph in Cleckheaton Road at the junction with Common Road.
Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke) condemned the travellers, calling the move "disgraceful" and "disgusting".
And one local resident said: "This is a respectful, quiet place where people go to remember those who were lost."
The travellers - a mixture of adults and young children - arrived sometime yesterday.
A man among the group, who would not give his name, told the Telegraph & Argus they had not known the significance of the memorial.
"When we were told what it was, we apologised. If we did know what it was we wouldn't have gone on there," he said.
The man insisted they would clean up any rubbish on the site before they left tonight and added: "We didn't know what it was. There are no scholars here, we cannot read or write.
"We were speaking to the cops and we apologised. We do have a bit of respect.
"We are keeping the kids away from it and we are going later on. We are keeping it quiet and keeping it clean."
Cllr Warburton said: "I think it is absolutely disgraceful.
"It is bad enough they go on Council land, but Council land that is a memorial to the dead, people who have fought for this country, it is absolutely disgusting.
"Clearly they have no morals, and no understanding and no care for people of this country or this area."
He added: "It is a public nuisance. It is something we do not tolerate.
"We thought it would have been a site that would have been safe. We have done lots of protection round local sites such as village greens - but we thought this would have been safe."
Jeffrey Long, a member of the Bradford Central branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "It is disgraceful they should move there - surely they should know. But to get an apology, that is great - what more can you say.
"Let's hope they leave it in a good condition and get a plus for once."
Cllr Warburton said the local authority would have to look at protecting the site from now on.
He said: "We will have to spend a limited Council budget on protecting this with some sort of mounding.
"It is additional spending that the taxpayers of this city should not have to stand."