WI 'flower bomb' war memorials after London attack

Flowers on memorial Image copyright Cambridge Blue Belles
Image caption The campaign was started by Cambridge and Stoke members of the Women's Institute

Members of the Women's Institute have been "flower bombing" war memorials after the Women's War Memorial in Whitehall was defaced on Saturday.

"Flowers for Heroines" was started by the Cambridge Blue Belles and Stoke-on-Trent Let's Make Jam branches.

They described it as a "counter protest" after graffiti was daubed on the London memorial during an anti-government demonstration.

Since then many other WI branches have joined in and put pictures on Twitter.

The words "Tory scum" were painted on the Whitehall war memorial during protests against austerity.

Image copyright Cambridge Blue Belles
Image caption It was described as a "counter protest" after the London memorial was spray painted

Joanne Croxford of the Cambridge branch said she was "beyond angry" when she heard what had happened.

"The memorial means a great deal and without those women we would not have what we do today," she said.

Image copyright Cambridge Blue Belles
Image caption WI members across the UK joined in the campaign to "flower bomb" memorials

"I was taking to Rebecca Brown at the Stoke branch and we decided we would go to London and cover the memorial with as many flowers as we could.

"Then we realised the big parade was taking place and we didn't want to detract from that, so decided to do it locally instead."

Word spread on social media and Ms Croxford estimated about 150 WI branches had joined the campaign.

Image copyright Cambridge Blue Belles
Image caption The Cambridge Blue Belles president said there had been an "epic" response to the campaign

She and other members placed bunches of flowers on a number of memorials with labels which read: "This is a counter protest against the damage done to the WWII women's memorial #flowersforheroines."

Janice Langley, WI chairwoman, said the campaign was "a wonderful example of WI members working together to celebrate women and pay respect to the valuable roles that they have played, something they have done since the very beginnings of the organisation in 1915".

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