Anger after war grave broken

Yaxley cemetery damage by vandals. Locals who gathered in the cemetery to protest about the damage EMN-150419-170955009
Yaxley cemetery damage by vandals. Locals who gathered in the cemetery to protest about the damage EMN-150419-170955009
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A relative of a soldier who died in the First World War have spoken of his anger after yobs destroyed the private’s gravestone.

The memorial to Pte Samuel Garrett, in Yaxley Cemetery, was broken in half by vandals.

Yaxley cemetery damage by vandals. Jeremy Garrett at his wife's great uncle's grave which has been damaged EMN-150419-170929009

Yaxley cemetery damage by vandals. Jeremy Garrett at his wife's great uncle's grave which has been damaged EMN-150419-170929009

Pte Garrett, who was from the village, died after being wounded at the Battle of Loos in 1915, aged just 24.

Jez Garrett (53) of Broadway, Yaxley - married to Lorna (42), Pte Garrett’s great niece, said: “He was wounded in battle, and repatriated here where he died.

“He went to war fighting for what he thought was freedom, and these scumbags do this.

“I cannot understand why someone would do this.

“I don’t think the people who have done this realise the sacrifices that were made by the soldiers in the First World War.

“How would they like it if someone did this to a gravestone for their gran, or their mother? I just don’t understand the mindset of these people.”

The stone memorial will be repaired by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Jez said: “We were going to pay for the repairs, so it is great that the commission is doing this.”

The damage is thought to have happened between about 5pm on April 16 and 10.30am on April 17.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is deeply saddened to hear of such a mindless attack. Our regional supervisor will attend the cemetery to inspect this abhorrent vandalism and restore the headstone as soon possible. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is deeply saddened to hear of such a mindless attack.

“Our regional supervisor will attend the cemetery to inspect this abhorrent vandalism and restore the headstone as soon possible.”

Ann Rees, of Yaxley Parish Council, said:” I’m gob smacked that someone would do this.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.