THE Commonwealth War Graves Commission has said it is "deeply upset" about the vandalism to graves of World War heroes at Hirst Wood Burial Ground, Shipley.


It has said all the damaged graves will be replaced to a "state befitting their sacrifice" and will continue to look after the graves.

A number of graves were smashed and damaged at the site earlier this week in the run up to the 75th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings.


They included a number of graves which are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which builds and maintains cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories to ensure those killed in the First and Second World Wars are never forgotten.

One of the graves had only been installed in 2017, a Gallipoli marker to replace the previous family headstone which had worn away and needed replacing.

The Commission provides general maintenance and cleaning to eight graves at Hirst Wood, six of which were damaged by thoughtless vandals.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The damaged war graves at Hirst Wood Burial Ground, ShipleyThe damaged war graves at Hirst Wood Burial Ground, Shipley

A spokesperson for the CWGC said: "We are deeply upset that someone has shown such a complete lack of respect on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a day when so many tens of thousands assembled around the world to reflect and pay deserved respect to the war dead.

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"This is thoughtless vandalism and our staff have recently arrived at the cemetery to assess the full extent of the damage.

"Six of the eight war graves at this site were targeted and we will now clear away any debris and lay temporary markers.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Police officers look at the damage as War Graves vandalised in Hirst Wood ShipleyPolice officers look at the damage as War Graves vandalised in Hirst Wood Shipley

"We will ensure all the damaged war graves at Hirst Wood are returned to a state befitting their sacrifice and continue to care for them now and always."

Members of Hirst Wood Regeneration Group, who look after the burial ground, said the damage caused was "disgusting" and "a disgrace", while Councillor Martin Love said the damage was "sickening" and "beyond comprehension".

RELATED: D-Day fallen remembered on the 75th anniversary of Normandy Landings

A police investigation is ongoing into the incident, which DI Amanda Middleton described as a "mindless act of destruction", and anyone with information is asked to contact police on101 quoting log number 952 of June 6, or use the live chat facility on the West Yorkshire Police website. Information can also be passed to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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