10 June 2019

CWGC upset to discover graffiti after Portsmouth D-Day events

CWGC was proud to see the Portsmouth Naval Memorial stand as a backdrop to the extraordinary D-Day 75 event on Southsea Common last week. It is therefore deeply disappointing to learn today that is has been vandalised.

Vandalism on Portsmouth Naval Memorial 

Our works staff have been alerted to graffiti on the stonework of the memorial and will ensure this is removed as soon as possible. Thankfully, none of the name panels have been directly affected.

The CWGC only recently completed renovation works to the whole area in advance of this year’s anniversary.

It is incredibly upsetting to think that a thoughtless individual has chosen to deface this memorial, which lists the names of more than 24,000 missing naval personnel of the world wars.

Particularly coming only days after the Royal Family and world leaders assembled opposite Portsmouth Naval Memorial to pay tribute to the surviving D-Day veterans and remember those who died.

D-Day 75 preparations at Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Vandalism to our sites sadly does occur but it is often rare. However, last week we also received the shocking news that six war graves in Shipley, Bradford had been destroyed in an unrelated act of vandalism.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a perpetual commitment to remember the dead of the World Wars. While it is always distressing to learn of disrespectful damage such as this, it also serves to reinforce the importance of our continuing work.

We will never forget that behind every war grave and every name on a memorial is a human story.

Through the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation and the growing work of our network of Public Engagement Coordinators we will continue to reach out to communities and keep those stories alive.

Whenever any such vandalism takes place we receive many thousands of well-wishes that far outweigh the negativity of a very small minority.

We are grateful to all those who support our work and help us to continue to ensure we never forget the 1.7 million Commonwealth men and women who died in the World Wars.

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