Thursday 9 December 2021
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Nottingham

Pictures show huge extent of vandalism to Nottingham’s War Memorial – Can you help find out who did this?

There are a lot of pictures here, we could have taken many many more – sadly, it seemed the only way to show just how much damage has been done.

Almost every single stone or slate block has been scratched, there are hundreds of slates – some scratches are deeper than others but names are just recklessly scrawled over.

Even standing there taking images of it was an emotional experience.

How people must feel whose relatives are remembered here you can only try to imagine.

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Police were made aware of the damage at the World War I memorial in Victoria Embankment earlier today (Friday 2 April 2021) and an investigation has been launched to find those responsible.

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It is not yet clear when the incident took place, say police.

More than 14,000 local soldiers, sailors, air crew and civilians gave their lives during World War I (1914-1918). They are all named together, for the first time, on this new memorial which was built at Victoria Embankment in 2019.

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Whatever your politics, Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council, jointly commissioned the new memorial, and worked really hard to get people to check that the names of family members, or others they know of, were listed to ensure they take their rightful place on the memorial.

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The names included on the memorial were taken from the Nottinghamshire Great War Roll of Honour – a unique, online database which includes the names of those killed, plus further details such as family history, military honours, photographs, letters home and press reports. Note the roll of honour website is currently unavailable because of a technical issue.

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The Roll of Honour was compiled by a team of volunteers, led by local historian David Nunn, who scoured 677 village and town memorials across the city and county in chapels, churches, churchyards, parish halls, factories, schools, post offices, parish halls and sports clubs as well as archives and press cuttings.

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Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said at the time in 2019:

“Many hundreds of hours of hard work has gone into the creation of the Roll of Honour, a fantastic historical online record, painstakingly compiled by a brilliant group of volunteers as part of the County Council’s Trent to Trenches project. It is a resource unique to Nottinghamshire and Nottingham, and is something we are extremely proud of.

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“The Great War devastated whole communities and given the scale of the losses, it’s possible that some names may have been missed. The new Great War Memorial will be a moving symbol of our appreciation to the 14,000 local men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War and be a focal point for county and city residents to say thank you – please help us ensure that all our fallen are rightfully recognised.”

As well as service personnel, the memorial will also include the names of civilian casualties, including nurses, people killed in Zeppelin air raids and the victims of the Chilwell shell filling factory explosion.

Superintendent Paul Winter, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Nottinghamshire Police has been made aware of a report of criminal damage at the World War I memorial in Victoria Embankment.

“It is totally unacceptable that some names have been scratched off the memorial in the incident.

“We are appalled and saddened that someone would think it is appropriate to do this and we will be thoroughly investigating the matter.

“I am now appealing to anyone who may have witnessed something suspicious to report it to Nottinghamshire Police as soon as possible on 101 quoting incident number 188 of 2 April 2021.”

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