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Broomfield Garden of Remembrance before the theft

Broomfield Garden of Remembrance before the theft

16 bronze plaques with the names of over 1,000 casualties from the First and Second World War, including 139 civilians were stolen from the memorial temple in Broomfield Park Garden of Remembrance, Palmers Green last weekend. The plaques, commemorating the wartime losses to the Enfield community, were most probably taken solely for the scrap value of the bronze. This is the second theft to have taken place at the Broomfield Garden of Remembrance: the memorial gates stolen in 2000 were subsequently replaced by Enfield Borough Council. Frances Moreton, Trust Manager of the War Memorials Trust described this latest incident as one in an increasing trend of war memorial thefts nationally, the causes of which the Trust are investigating.  

One of the stolen plaques with the names of civilians

One of the stolen plaques with the names of civilians

 

Given the high community and material value of these plaques, investing in security measures to protect war memorials, such as cctv, would certainly appear to be well worthwhile. Thieves may be dissuaded or, in any case, cctv can assist with tracing stolen features from war memorials and proceeding with prosecutions for this particular crime. 

 

Enfield Police have launched an appeal for anyone with information relating to the theft of the Broomfield plaques or information about their current whereabouts to contact them on 020 8345 3349.

A new grants scheme is being launched today by Historic Scotland and War Memorials Trust.  Funding will be available to ensure that freestanding memorials across Scotland are preserved in recognition of the contribution service men and women have made for their country.

Historic Scotland will provide £30,000 annually to War Memorials Trust who will provide additional funds and be responsible for distributing the grants.  War memorials eligible for conservation grants are freestanding monuments such as obelisks, crosses and statues. 

The scheme can grant aid up to 75% of the total eligible cost of the works to a maximum of £7,500 per project.  See the press release for further information about the launch of the scheme.

Anyone interested in applying for a grant in Scotland (or elsewhere in the UK) is advised to visit the WMT Small Grants Scheme information page to learn more about the available funding or to contact the Conservation Officer on 020 7881 0862 or conservation@warmemorials.org or the Trust Manager or Administrator on 020 7259 0403 or info@warmemorials.org.

A First World War memorial has been stolen from a cemetery in Peel, on the Isle of Man.

Read more from BBC News

This memorial was last seen in December 2006, which illustrates how important it can be for the protection of war memorials to carry out regular condition surveys, especially for those in out of the way locations.  If a memorial is stolen to be melted down for scrap metal, publicising the loss quickly may mean the difference between recovering it and losing it forever.

A memorial in Otley, West Yorkshire, commemorating men from the local mill who both fought and died in the First World War has been struck again by thieves.

Last year, the bronze statue of a serviceman that stood on top of the memorial was stolen for the second time.  It has not been recovered.  Then in July this year the bronze name plaques were prised off.  They too have not been recovered and there are concerns that the list of names have not been recorded elsewhere.

Read more from Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Highlighting the increasinging problem of the theft of metal objects, in the last couple of months thieves have struck crematoriums in Oxford, and Kent three times, stealing 970 personal bronze memorial plaques plus £50,000 of lead and copper from a church roof in Garsington

While these aren’t war memorials, the losses illustrate how vulnerable and attractive to thieves many war memorial plaques and statues are.  We’ve reported on several thefts in the last few months, the most recent being just 2 days ago.

A campaign has been launched to raise £60,000 to help restore the memorial in Alexandra Park, Hastings (East Sussex). 

Read more from BBC NEWS

The Hastings memorial was unveiled in 1922 and commemorates those from the local borough who lost their lives in several wars. 

It is not unusual to find later conflicts added to First World War memorials  (in this case the Second World War and Korean War) but it is much less common to find First World War memorial retrospectively commemorating earlier wars, as this memorial does with the Boer war.

Several bronze plaques listing the names were stolen in 1990.  Theft of memorials and parts of memorials (particularly bronzes) is not a new problem, but has certainly increased dramatically in recent years, as we reported in May

At Hastings the stolen name plaques were replaced with replicas the following year.