Vandalism at Leopoldsburg War Cemetery
19 June 2012
Eleven CWGC headstones have been damaged in three separate
attacks by vandals at the Leopoldsburg War Cemetery in Belgium.
The attacks appear to have been random and without motive. Of
the eleven casualties whose headstones were broken, nine were
British Army; one was from the RAF; and one from the Royal Canadian
The Director of the Northern Europe Area of the CWGC, Ian
Hussein, deplored the attacks.
"We deeply regret that anyone should vandalise the memorials of
those who made the ultimate sacrifice," he said. "We have no idea
why they did it, but we will repair the damage as quickly as
possible so that the commemoration of those who fell, in the cause
of the freedom of Belgium, is maintained."
The mayor of Leopoldsburg, Erwin van Pée, said he was deeply
shocked. "This type of grave desecration has been unheard of in our
community before now. I deeply deplore these acts of vandalism. I
hope the culprits will be caught so that they can be punished.
Their acts are an insult to the memory of those who died for our
country. Only the deepest respect, for the known as well as for the
unknown soldier, is appropriate for a war cemetery."
Commissaris Eric Cenens, of the local police at Leopoldsburg,
said the latest attack - on June 11th - had been part of
a wider pattern of violence. "On the same night there was vandalism
at the local station and many cars were damaged."
Commissaris Cenens does not think the cemetery was a particular
target, but nonetheless, police will be increasing their
patrols in the area to protect the cemetery and prevent further