War graves smashed by vandals

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British war graves have been smashed by vandals - just days before the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Twenty graves were damaged at the Church Bank Cemetery in Wallsend, North Tyneside.

Yobs used a concrete slab to smash vases and headstones last Sunday night, leaving rubble strewn everywhere.

Alongside the eight Commonwealth war graves, of soldiers who died in both World Wars, which were damaged, 12 other family memorial stones were also targeted.

Royal British Legion member Jenny Robson, 60, who helps to organise the Poppy Appeal, said it was upsetting to see the vandalism.

"It was very heartless to do a thing like that. It's disgusting and just wanton vandalism on the part of people who have no respect for those who have died," she said.

A spokesman from North Tyneside Council, which runs the cemetery, said: "It's very disappointing that someone would want to cause damage at one of our cemeteries.

"We're committed to providing an excellent bereavement service, which we know is appreciated by the many families who use it each year.

"We will be contacting the War Graves Commission and will also make every to get in touch with the families affected by this incident."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We received a report from a member of the public on Monday afternoon.

"There had been damage caused to graves at the cemetery at Church Bank. Officers are making inquiries into the incident."

Various events are being held to commemorate the Normandy landings tomorrow.