Father reports son, 15, for war memorial vandalism
Parent praised for ‘brave act’
ADEVASTATED dad shopped his own son for damaging a ‘Silent Soldier’ memorial erected as part of a Gloucestershire town’s Remembrance Day commemorations.
The father gave his 15-year-old son’s name to the authorities after finding out he was involved in a vandal attack on one of five metal silhouettes marking 100 years since the end of World War One.
And he offered to pay for the Silent Soldier to be repaired in time for an event on Sunday, which will see dignitaries in Lydney light a beacon in honour of those who lost their lives in the Great War.
The father came forward after civic leaders called on the community to name and shame those responsible for the damage.
Hundreds took to social media to praise him after the town council announced the repairs were being arranged and the teenager was being dealt with by police.
Jayne Smailes, chief executive of Lydney Town Council, declined to give any further details but said it showed how the Forest of Dean community had pulled together.
“A parent came in to profusely apologise and offered to pay for any damage caused by their child,” she said.
“The parent was very upset by the actions of their child. It was a very brave act to come forward and admit it.
“The matter is now in the hands of the police and Lydney Town Council will be drawing a line under it.”
The parent came forward after the town council revealed that the Silent Soldier, on Primrose Hill Mesne – a hilltop green area with park – had been attacked for the second time.
Vandals had already broken off the end of a rifle and dented the silhouette when somebody tried to rip it from the ground on Saturday night and dented it further.
The council said members were “shocked and saddened” by the attack on one of the five £150 silent soldiers in the town.
And civic leaders called on the community to name and shame those responsible.
“To show such disrespect to a symbol of our Armed Forces for the sacrifice they made is, in our view, frankly disgusting and these individuals should be named and shamed,” a spokesman said.
“This should be a time of coming together in peace and remembrance to pay tribute to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the liberties which we have today.
“To have such a symbol of their sacrifice treated in such a disrespectful and despicable way is truly heartbreaking.”
Some locals said they had heard that a group of 12-year-olds had planned a party on the grassed area known as the Mesne on Saturday night and the boy was probably not acting alone.
A blacksmith is trying to repair the damaged statuette in time for this Sunday’s Battle’s Over commemora- tions, marking 100 years since the end of the conflict.
Lydney mayor, Bob Berryman, said: “The father came in this morning and said it was his child. He offered to pay for the damage and said they would also do some work in the community, so we are not pressing charges. I think in light of him coming in, that is the way forward.”
A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: “A 15-year-old boy and one of his parents has attended Lydney Town Council and admitted the vandalism to the memorial on Primrose Hill in Lydney last week.
“The cost of the damage is due to be repaid to the council and we will be working with them to decide on an appropriate restorative justice outcome in this case.”