Van­dals fail to de­lay An­zac Day trib­utes

Com­mem­o­ra­tion held in mem­ory of fallen sol­diers

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By

AN ACT of van­dal­ism failed to pre­vent the An­zac com­mem­o­ra­tions go­ing ahead in Hare­field as planned at the week­end.

The van­dals sawed an Aus­tralian flag­pole and daubed a me­mo­rial panel with blue paint at St Mary’s Church yard in Church Hill, where the bod­ies of more than 100 Aus­tralian sol­diers killed in the First World War are in­terred.

The burial site hosted a spe­cial An­zac (Aus­tralian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ser­vice a day later on Satur­day af­ter­noon, mark­ing the cen­te­nary of the start of the Gal­lipoli cam­paign, in which more than 11,000 sol­diers from Australia and New Zealand were killed.


coun­cil­lor Jane Palmer said: “The An­zac com­mem­o­ra­tions were su­perbly planned and a fit­ting trib­ute to the peo­ple who lost their lives. Ev­ery year it takes my breath away.

“The van­dal­ism didn’t stop Hare­field res­i­dents turn­ing out in their hun­dreds. The vil­lage was phe­nom­e­nal and there were not enough spa­ces in the church to seat all who came to pay their re­spects.”

The ceme­tery is the UK’s pri­mary place of re­mem­brance for Aus­tralian First World War ca­su­al­ties and has hosted an an­nual An­zac Day ser­vice, at which lo­cal school­child­ren lay flow­ers on ev­ery grave, since 1921.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Aus­tralian and New Zealand gov­ern­ments and mil­i­tary were present for the ser­vice.

Chil­dren from Hare­field Ju­nior School per­formed a con­cert en­ti­tled The An­zacs and Us and the Mayor of Hilling­don, Catherine Dann, opened an An­zac gar­den ahead of th the com­mem­o­ra­tions.

Ber­nadette Lloyd, head te teacher at Hare­field In In­fants, said: “The ch chil­dren re­mem­ber the An­zac sol­diers ev­ery year by lay­ing flow­ers on the graves, so that when the ce cer­e­mony comes ev­ery­one can see that the sol­diers have been thought about.

“We’ve been con­tacted by fam­ily mem­bers in Australia who thank us for what we do.”

The Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion, which main­tains the site, said the van­dal­ism had been ‘very up­set­ting’, par­tic­u­larly af­ter all months of work to re­store the graves, and Hilling­don Coun­cil’s deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, Jean Palmer, added: “It was a pos­i­tive oc­ca­sion and the van­dals who at­tempted to spoil the day did not suc­ceed.”

n RE­MEM­BRANCE: Daisy, 10, flies the flags for both sides of the hemi­sphere and (inset) the march to St Mary’s Church Pho­tos by Grant Humphreys www.buyapho­ WL152468

n ‘UP­SET­TING’:‘UP­SET­TING’ Van­dal­sVd l striket ik at t St Mary’sM ’ Ch Church h

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.