Vandals destroy soldiers' graves on 75th anniversary of D-Day
A group of vandals has smashed the gravestones of war heroes as the world commemorated those who died for our freedom on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Police are investigating after a number of gravestones at Hirst Wood burial ground in Shipley, Bradford, England, after they were found broken into pieces.
The disgusting vandalism, said to have occurred between Wednesday and Thursday, targeted several plots at a Commonwealth Graves Commission, which had been provided in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War Two.
One of the graves was that of Arthur Sheard, a WWI driver from Saltaire who died in May 1918 at Morton Banks Military Hospital in Keighley.
Hirst's four-year-old daughter Hilda died the next day of an illness, and the two were tragically buried together at the plot at Hirst Wood.
The sad news was first reported by the Hirst Wood Regeneration Group, who posted on Facebook lambasting the "callous thoughtlessness" of the act and pleading for information.
They wrote: "Sad to report that a number of gravestones in Hirst Wood Cemetery have been smashed. It is mainly the Commonwealth War Grave Commission stones, including that of Arthur Sheard who was buried at the same time as his four year old [sic] daughter Hilda, who died two days after him.
"It is impossible to understand the callous thoughtlessness of those who did this. Do they boast to their friends and relations that they managed to smash gravestones? What possible satisfaction can they get from such a mindless act? If anyone has information that might help the police, who have been informed, please get in touch with them."
The news disgusted people on Facebook, with many writing that the vandals should be ashamed of themselves.
Its a disgrace and makes you wonder whats [sic] wrong with some people but then I look at the Standards, morality, ethics being taught these day im [sic] sadly no longer surprised," wrote Neal Wayman.
"To Arthur Sheard and all from a veteran I bow in respect and thank you for your service and sadly your sacrifice. May you now be left to Rest In Peace 🇬🇧".
Joy Smith added: "Who ever [sic] has done this should be totally ashamed of themselves! 😠😠😠Absolutely disgusting! 😠😠😠".
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Detective Inspector Amanda Middleton named the incident a "mindless act of destruction" and asked any member of the public who had information to come forward.
"Our investigation is ongoing into the vandalism of these gravestones," she stated. "The gravestones were destroyed in what was a mindless act of destruction and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward and speak to the police. High visibility reassurance patrols have been stepped up in the area whilst officers continue with their enquiries."
Anyone who witnessed this incident or has any information is asked to contact Bradford District Police via 101 quoting log number 952 of June 6. Information can also be passed to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.