With tears in his eyes, Ged McKnight has planted wild poppies in place of those ripped out by heartless vandals in front of a Grantham war memorial.
Mr McKnight discovered the damage to the flowerbed at the memorial in St Peter’s Hill on Monday. Police believe the attack took place on Monday afternoon, on a day the country marked 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.
As well as the removel of the flowers, wooden crosses were pulled up and scattered.
This afternoon (Wednesday), Mr McKnight has planted a row of wild poppies dug up from a field near Cranwell, to “restore the faith of the people of Grantham”.
He said: “They are a symbol to the people who have given everything for this country. There’s nothing greater than someone who has given their own life for the defence of other people in this country.
“I’m devastated by what’s happened. I felt that something needed to be done.”
When the Journal broke the news online of this act of desecration on Monday afternoon, people responded with outrage on Facebook and Twitter. There were calls to “name and shame” the culprits, but police say there have been no arrests so far.
A police spokesman said today: “As the date of the damage coincided with the date of the World War 1 commemorations, it is understandable that the local community will be particularly upset by this incident and the lack of respect shown by the offenders at this sensitive time.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Lincolnshire Police on the non-emergency 101 number quoting incident number 181 of August 5.