Bronze plaques ripped from Derby war memorial are found

Image caption,
The plaques were ripped from the memorial and discarded

Several bronze plaques ripped from a Derby war memorial by vandals have been found discarded nearby.

The plaques had names of hundreds of Midland Railway employees that died in World War I.

Council leaders condemned the vandalism at the Grade II-listed memorial in Derby's Midland Road as a "deplorable crime".

The vandalism was reported to police on Wednesday morning and several of the plaques were found immediately.

Dennis Monk, whose wife's uncle Richard Gibson died in the Battle of the Somme, discovered that the plaques had been ripped off the monument: "I looked to the left and to my shock and horror I couldn't believe what I was looking at."

'Clean them up'

Police are investigating the vandalism and the city council has described it as "one of the most deplorable acts of crime that we can imagine."

Councillor Chris Poulter said the plaques seemed to be in fairly good condition.

He said: "I am hopeful they will be in a position to be reinstated - the damage is not enough to stop them from being replaced.

"We can clean them up and replace them in a more secure way by putting them into a stronger frame. They were fixed with light screws before - and they can be made tamper-proof."

He added: "People are horrified that someone would think of doing this. This a memorial of national importance from the Great War - and it must remain in place."

He suggested whoever took the plaques had hidden them so they could return for them later and sell them for scrap metal.

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