Tuesday, 13 Apr 2021

‘Should be ashamed’ Fury at ‘wanton vandalism’ of Captain Tom Moore’s memorial

Captain Tom Moore: Funeral procession takes place in February

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Sir Tom became a household name after he raised a staggering £32million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden last year. However, the 100-year-old sadly died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid. But now heartless vandals have damaged a plague in Fenton Park, Stoke-on-Trent, that honoured both the hero fundraiser and 703 residents in the city that have sadly died from Covid.

Pictures showed flowers from a wreath had been ripped out and scattered on the ground, while a commemorative plaque featuring a quote from Captain Sir Tom Moore was also damaged.

Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib called the vandalism a “despicable act”.

He said: “This is a despicable act undertaken by people without a moral compass or kind bone in their bodies.

“They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Colonel Richard Kemp, who joined the British Army the day after he left school, and spent the next 30 years in some of the world’s most notorious trouble spots, added the vandalism was “insulting” to Captain Tom’s memory.

The Veterans for Britain contributor told Express.co.uk: “This wanton vandalism is insulting to the memory of a veteran who did so much for this country both in the Second World War and in the fight against Coronavirus.

“As a highly respected national figure who symbolised ordinary people’s struggle against the pandemic this action also shows contempt for the all who suffered and for the NHS that Captain Moore worked so hard to support.”

Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Ross Irving had unveiled the memorial last month to mark the one year anniversary of the first Covid lockdown.

Residents in the area also shared their fury over the damage the wreath had been placed there to honour the 703 locals who died from the virus.

Emma Owen told StokeonTrent Live: “It’s disgusting and disrespectful when people have lost people to coronavirus.

“I hope they find out who is responsible.”

Karen Smith, from Fenton, also said the vandalism was and “shocking”.

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She said: “Some people just don’t have any respect for anything. It’s awful and makes you feel like why bother having anything nice.”

Annah Williams, also from Fenton, added: “The plaque with Captain Tom on being destroyed is horrible, I can’t believe it, it’s awful.

“This was a nice place for people to come. We come here every day and always see people having a look around.”

The Queen was among those who paid tribute to Sir Tom when his funeral took place in Bedfordshire in February, where he lived.

The deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, David Pearson, laid a wreath in Keighley, which was the birthplace of Sir Tom, on behalf of the Queen.

He was knighted by the Queen in July – a day he described as one of the proudest of his life.

The service was attended by eight members of Sir Tom’s family, including his two daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law.

The service started with You’ll Never Walk Alone playing, which was the number one charity single Sir Tom recorded with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir last April.

Ms Teixeira then paid tribute to her father, as she said: “Daddy, you always told us ‘best foot forward’ and true to your word that’s what you did last year, raising a fortune for the NHS and walking your way into the nation’s hearts.”

“Daddy, I am so proud of you, what you achieved your whole live and especially in the last year.

“You may be gone but your message and your spirit lives on.

“We have a long history of caring and it was just great that the man epitomised what’s good about Keighley and what’s good about Yorkshire – modest, unassuming and yet he did so much for everybody.”

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