Flowers left on a memorial bench featuring a plaque commemorating Captain Sir Tom Moore and other victims of coronavirus have been destroyed by vandals.
A wreath and other flowers to respect the 703 residents of Stoke-on-Trent who died from Covid-19 have been ripped apart and left scattered on the floor, less than a month after the memorial was unveiled.
Residents in the Staffordshire city have condemned the vandalism which was discovered at Fenton Park yesterday afternoon, along with another plaque which appeared to have had the wording on it ripped off.
Emma Owen, 40, from Fenton, said: ‘It’s disgusting and disrespectful when people have lost people to coronavirus. I hope they find out who is responsible.
‘We know a few people who have died through Covid-19 and it’s not nice. We should be grateful that the council chose to put a memorial in Fenton Park as it’s good to have it in Fenton.’
Flowers laid as part of a wreath to respect the 703 residents of Stoke-on-Trent who died from coronavirus have been ripped out – less than a month after the memorial was unveiled
A plaque (left) installed to pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore (right) and the charity work he carried out has also been vandalised at Fenton Park
Karen Smith, 60, added: ‘We were here when they put the memorial up and I’ve seen quite a few people stop to have a look and talk about it. It’s made us all think and after the last year it was nice to have something like that in the park.
‘Maybe there needs to be some CCTV installed, but that’s a cost to the council. Some people just don’t have any respect for anything. It’s awful and makes you feel like why bother having anything nice.’
Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Ross Irving unveiled the memorial last month to mark 12 months since the start of the first lockdown.
The park also includes a fruit tree and a bench dedicated to healthcare workers and volunteers who died working in the fight against the virus.
Pictured: The flower wreath that had been placed at the memorial in Stoke-on-Trent to pay tribute to the 703 residents who died from coronavirus, before the flowers were ripped out by vandals
Annah Williams, 34, said: ‘The plaque with Captain Tom on being destroyed is horrible, I can’t believe it, it’s awful. This was a nice place for people to come. We come here every day and always see people having a look around.’
And Fenton resident Eddie Jankowski, 71, added: ‘People have no respect anymore. This is a lovely bench to remember people after the year we have had and it’s a shame that somebody has done this to it.’
Captain Sir Tom Moore earned national recognition during the lockdown after completing 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS Charities Together. Initially hoping to raise £1,000, he eventually brought in £32million.
In recognition of the sizeable contribution the Second World War veteran made during the pandemic, the Queen knighted him last July 17. But in January, he died after contracting Covid-19 while being treated for pneumonia.
How Captain Sir Tom’s heroic actions boosted Britain amid lockdown
Sir Captain Tom Moore hoped to raise £1,000 for the NHS, but ended up capturing the hearts of the nation.
Here’s how 100 laps around his garden became a knighthood…
April 2020 The army veteran begins fundraising in the hope of raising £1,000 for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic. He wants to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30.
April 14 More than £2million is donated.
April 15 The total rises to £7million as more than 340,000 people show their support.
April 16 He completes his 100 laps – meaning he walked an average of six laps a day – and reveals he’s going to keep going to raise as much as possible. Both the Prime Minister and the Royal Family congratulate him.
April 24 Sir Captain Tom is the oldest person ever to reach Number One in the Top 40 Charts with his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone. He performs it alongside singer Michael Ball and The NHS Voices of Care Choir.
April 30 The fundraising page hits £32million on his 100th birthday. He is made an honorary colonel and enjoys a military flypast.
July 17 The Queen awards him a knighthood in a special engagement.
September He writes bestselling autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day and signs a deal to film a biopic of his life.
October 5 – Captain Tom starts a podcast to tackle isolation among Britain’s elderly.
December He ticks a holiday to Barbados off his bucket list.
January 31, 2021 He is admitted to hospital amid an intense battle with pneumonia, his family reveal.
February 2, 2021 Sir Captain Tom’s death is announced days after he tests positive for coronavirus.