Outrage as Captain Tom Memorial spray-painted with disgusting graffiti

Suffering graffiti spray-painted on a memorial to Captain Sir Tom Moore has sparked outrage among locals.

The letters “IRA” turned out to have been spray-painted on Captain Sir Tom Moore’s silhouette sculpture with white spray paint on the morning of Wednesday 29 December.

The memorial, which has been erected in Hatton, Derbyshire, was installed just two days after Captain Tom died at the age of 100 on February 2, after traveling tens of millions of pounds to the NHS during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Anthony Ball, chairman of the Dove Valley Community Project, which manages Thistley Meadow Park, where the memorial is located, told Derbyshire Live that he discovered the damage around 1 p.m. 10 Wednesday morning and was disgusted by the vandalism.

He said: “What I do not understand is that you have a small memorial commemorating those who lost their lives and a Tommy [from the Royal British Legion]. Why did they spray Captain Tom? What does he have to do with the IRA?

“I was almost physically ill when I saw it. Every day I walk, I walked around the corner and I looked at it and was almost physically ill. I touched it with my hand and thought it was something, that just wanted to be wiped off., and that was spray paint.

“I could almost understand if someone spray-painted a war memorial or a soldier, but not Captain Tom walking down the street.

“I had to pick up a garbage bag and put it over Captain Tom. I could not leave him like that.”

Fortunately, the memorial was repaired within hours, when Austin Cox – owner of a Burton-on-Trent-based engineering firm that also installed the monument – removed the paint for free.

Austin, who also installed the memorial for free earlier this year, was described as “such a humble boy” by Anthony, who described the gesture as “amazing”.

Captain Tom, who served in the Army in World War II, became famous in 2020 after raising over £ 30 million by walking 100 laps of his nursing home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

Captain Sir Tom Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore

He boosted the country’s morale with his steely determination, captured in his phrase: “Tomorrow will be a good day”.

Since his death, he has inspired dozens of similar fundraising efforts from people of all ages and has been commemorated in countless tributes across the country.

Anthony, who has lived in Hatton for over 60 years, said the graffiti has not yet been reported to police as the monument has been repaired.

Meanwhile, several people have strongly criticized the vandalism on social media, and those who committed the crime were described as “senseless idiots” in a comment.

Austin himself had a strong message for those who were considering repeating the action. He said: “If you continue to paint him, we will clean it off. If you damage him, we have the resources to repair him. If you remove him, we will have a new one put in his place.

“By continuing your actions you are greatly increasing our chances of capturing you. Sir Tom is now cleaned up and continues to lift the spirits of all those who need him in these times.”

Chris Ward added: “Well done Austin. I really think how sad it is then Thistley Meadow needs CCTV. The one who has done this has no respect for their country, for their families who fought and sometimes died in two wars, and for their community.If they can be identified, they should be sent to a war zone on a week’s vacation.

“We all know the hard work that has been put into keeping Thistley Meadow in a great place, if they can not afford CCTV, I think we should start a village fund to help pay for it. If every family puts a couple of pounds…. it would definitely help to get the cameras. “

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