A memorial in Stoke-on-Trent to honour the city’s coronavirus victims and Captain Sir Tom Moore has been vandalised, leading to outcry from local residents.
The vandals destroyed a plaque in the Fenton Park memorial displaying a quote from the 100-year-old veteran who raised £32million by walking 100 laps of his garden.
A wreath laid to mark the city’s 703 residents who also died in the pandemic was also torn apart, with flowers scattered by the bench it was placed on.
Fenton residents condemned the memorial’s trashing on Wednesday, with one woman describing it as “disgusting and disrespectful”.
Emma Owen, 40, told Stoke on Trent Live: “It’s disgusting and disrespectful when people have lost people to coronavirus. I hope they find out who is responsible.
“We know a few people who have died through Covid-19 and it’s not nice. We should be grateful that the council chose to put a memorial in Fenton Park as it’s good to have it in Fenton.”
Another Fenton resident, 71-year-old Eddie Jankowski told the outlet: “People have no respect anymore. This is a lovely bench to remember people after the year we have had and it’s a shame that somebody has done this to it.”
The memorial was unveiled in March on the one year anniversary of the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown.
A national minute’s silence was held at midday on 23 March. Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing that a permanent memorial to those who died of Covid-19 would be created “at the right moment”.
Several cities are considering ways to remember those who lost their lives during the pandemic.
In Loughborough, there are plans for a bell being considered as a way of honouring key workers and those who died of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, a floral mosaic has been created at a health centre in Birmingham to thank NHS staff and other emergency workers.