September 29th, 2016

Vandals damage First World War memorial at historic Bromsgrove church

Updated: 10:33 am, Aug 27, 2015

A CHURCH warden has hit out at vandals who damaged a war memorial in the Bromsgrove church’s grounds.

Susan Ward contacted The Standard this week after the incident at the cenotaph at All Saints Church, Burcot Lane.

Those involved stole one of the four metal plates from the base of the structure and another one was so badly wrecked it cannot be removed from the memorial without damaging the stonework.

Four metal wreaths which adourned the corners of the memorial have also been stolen.

The cenotaph there, which the church and residents have always taken good care of, records the names of the fallen from Bromsgrove in the First World War.

The remaining two plates have now been taken off and are currently being stored in the church for safe keeping.

An officer from Bromsgrove District Council, which is responsible for the conservation of war memorials and monuments, came to inspect what remained of the memorial and has recommended the remaining plaques be mounted and displayed within the church.

So far a decision has not been taken on what will happen regarding the plaques – the church does not currently have the funds to mount them for display inside the building and permission would be needed from the diocese for such a move.

All of the church’s resources are currently being channeled into its responsibility to generally maintain the church building.

There is also a pressing need for other work and maintenance.

Mrs Ward told The Standard: “We have received a number of comments from the public regarding the upkeep of our memorial.

“I would like to reassure everyone in the area that we take that responsibility very seriously and will do what is possible to restore and preserve our memorial to the fallen.”

Bromsgrove District Councillor Peter Whittaker, whose portfolio includes environmental services, said: “I’m extremely disappointed that the memorial at All Saints Church has been vandalised.

“This is a memorial the council has helped the church to manage in the past, and we’ll continue to offer our support if they need it.”

Anyone who can help with funding or who has any ideas about the future of the memorial plaques is urged to call Mrs Ward on 0121 453 3180 or the church administration number – 07581 784810.