A mother whose soldier son was killed by a roadside bomb six years ago has spoken of her shock at the desecration of a war memorial where he is honoured.

Pauline Hickey of East Bierley only heard about the metal plaque being stolen from Cleckheaton’s war memorial when she read an article in the Telegraph & Argus.

Her married sergeant son Christian was 30 and serving with the 1st Battalion of The Coldstream Guards when he died from his injuries in Basra.

He had been on a routine patrol in the southern Iraqi city when it happened in 2005.

Sgt Hickey had been leading at the front on foot to check a route for his patrol when he was hit by the blast.

Today, Mrs Hickey, speaking about the stolen plaque, said: “My son’s name was engraved on it.

“I find it hard to grasp no one thought to inform the families involved, and they have to find out in the media.”

She added: “For a matter of a few quid someone has stolen that plaque, probably without even thinking of the sacrifice my son and the others on it made. It is a total lack of respect.”

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said all the names on the stolen plaque would be included on a new one.

And he added: “We are working to replace the plaque as quickly as possible.

“While it is regrettable that the plaque was stolen in the first place, we will replace it at the first opportunity.”

The stolen plaque was added in 2009 after the memorial was refurbished.

It was re-dedicated that year by Major General Jonathan Shaw, Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment whose grandfather, Lt Col Mowat DSO MC, first dedicated the memorial in 1922.

Sgt Hickey’s name was among those added to the memorial along with the names of other service personnel lost in conflict since 1948.

  • Read the full story Thursday’s T&A