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Vandals destroy world war memorial at Burwell Village College Primary School

Burwell Village College Primary School (2704070)
Burwell Village College Primary School (2704070)

A memorial garden dedicated to those who fought and died in the First World War has been destroyed by vandals.

The garden, in a quiet corner of the grounds of Burwell Village College Primary School, was designed and created in 2014 by the Friends of the school as a peaceful and reflective place for pupils and others using the school’s field.

It was also important as a memorial to former pupil Robbie Hayes,killed on active service with the Royal Anglian Regiment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010.

“I was heartbroken to see what they had done to the garden,” said Friends’ chairman Beth Brunton.

“There was an oak plaque, screwed to a bench, which had been engraved with art work designed by the children representing the football match played by soldiers at Christmas 1914, a tree and a dove of peace with the words ‘Peace, Love and Hope’. They had smashed the bench up to get the plaque off and had then used it as a stepping stone. It will be re-varnished and replaced in a new garden,” said Mrs Bunton.

A flowering cherry and a garden planted with poppies, cornflowers and daisies had also formed part of the memorial which the Friends have vowed to restore.

“We have already had an offer to pay for another tree and we will asking for donations for a new bench. The Burwell community, who helped us make the memorial with their donations, is amazing and always comes up trumps.”

She said some teenagers had already offered to help replace the memorial closer to the school in time for it to be re-dedicated to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war in November.

“We are very saddened and also angry but we still feel very strongly that is is important to remember the sacrifices that people have made.”