THE PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
23 JUNE 2009
This morning, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission brought back to this beautiful Memorial, re-pressed and completely refurbished, the bronze panels which were stolen for scrap metal last year. Detective Constable Jago who was instrumental in recovering them was present as were representatives of the British Legion who have arranged on Saturday for a service of re-dedication in which many serving and ex- seamen will be taking part.
1 July 2008:
It almost defies belief but during the nights of June 29th and 30th, a number of the bronze panels bearing the names of thousands of Naval dead (who have no other grave) were stolen from the memorial below. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission visited the site today and have pledged to replace the panels as a matter of urgency but are concerned that there will be a repetition of the theft as bronze is now in short supply as a metal. The panels were brutally wrenched off and there is some damage to the stonework. A mason has already started working on the site.
4 July 2008:
Some panels discovered in Somerset today - cut into pieces and an attempt made to erase the names. Perpetrators not yet caught.
27 August 2008:
Three men have been arrested and charged with this offence. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has announced that, if found guilty, the men will be sued for the full cost of reinstating the memorial to its formal condition.
13 November 2008:
Today, we hear that one of the men arrested 27 August has jumped bail and did not turn up in court today. His photo has been broadcast on TV and the public are being asked to help to trace him. The War Graves Commission say that re-casting of the missing panels is underway but that it is a very difficult task as they must be made to match the orignals as exactly as possible; the task may well take another year. Poppies were laid against the blank walls during the Remembrance Day Ceremony.