Thieves target Tower Hamlets war memorial

War Memorial Photo: Padraig Moran

A war memorial in Tower Hamlets has been targeted by thieves for the second time in recent months, resulting in damage that may cost several thousand pounds to repair.

Located in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, the memorial commemorates the lives of East Londoners who died in World Wars I and II. Their names are recorded on 16 bronze plaques, the scrap value of which drew the attention of thieves.

Sometime last Sunday, an attempt was made with a crowbar to remove two of these plaques. Unsuccessful, the thieves were forced to leave empty-handed.

It is the second incident in five months to involve the vandalism of these bronze plates, though one stolen in August was dumped in a builders’ skip and later returned to the park after a public appeal.

Sunday’s vandalism has left the monument heavily damaged, with park liaison officer Ken Greenway estimating it may cost several thousand pounds to repair and reinstall the affected plagues.

Damage from the August incident was repaired by the War Graves Commission, but The Friends of the Cemetery Park have expressed their dismay at this latest attack.

“We the Friends are shocked and appalled to see the memorial damaged once again in a short four month period, so soon after its repair in time for remembrance Sunday in November,” they said in a statement.

The police are investigating the incident, but it remains unclear whether this recent vandalism is directly connected to the August robbery.

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