Ornaments placed on war graves in Layton cemetery ahead of Remembrance Sunday are smashed by vandals

Ornamental glass candles, placed on Polish war graves in Layton cemetery, have been wrecked by vandals
Ornamental glass candles, placed on Polish war graves in Layton cemetery, have been wrecked by vandals

Ornamental glass candles placed on Polish war graves in Layton cemetery ahead of Remembrance Sunday have been destroyed by thugs.

Blackpool Council described the desecration as "upsetting" and "disrespectful", and said bins and benches were also turned over both within the cemetery and nearby Mansfield Road.

"Unfortunately, this is the third night we have received reports of anti-social behaviour in the cemetery," a spokesman said.

"We ask local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour around the cemetery as we want to put this disrespectful behaviour to an end."

Police said officers were called around 9.10pm yesterday to reports of youths damaging headstones and overturning benches. The reports of graves themselves being damaged turned out to be unfounded, the council said.

A passing motorist also had their Mini Cooper damaged after plant pots and broken stone slabs were hurled into Mansfield Road, police added.

Layton Cemetery contains 138 Commonwealth War Graves, and a War Cross is erected in the main drive.

There are 139 graves for soldiers from the First World War, and 39 from the Second World War.

A Yugoslav airman is also buried there, while there are 26 Polish graves together in a group.

During the Second World War, there were units of the Polish forces stationed at Blackpool and the Polish Air Force had its headquarters at Talbot Square.

Council staff went to the cemetery "as soon as" the damage was reported and "ensured it was cleared up", the council spokesman added.

And Coun Chris Ryan, the council's armed forces champion, said: "I'm totally dumbfounded by the ignorance. I don't understand why, at this poignant time, some person with no thought for anybody else's feelings does this wanton vandalism.

"The distress this will cause is just not warranted."

This Sunday will mark 100 years to the day since the First World War ended.