Graffiti daubed on Remembrance mural designed by South Shields schoolchildren ahead of Armistice Day

A woman has spoken of her anger after a war memorial made with the help of a South Shields community was damaged by vandals in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.

Sunday, 10th November 2019, 11:13 am

Now South Tyneside Council has said it would ensure the graffiti painted on the panels in recent weeks would be removed ahead of Armistice Day.

It was reported by Marjorie Rye, 75, who lives close by to the park.

The graffiti damage to the war mural in West Park, South Shields.

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Mrs Rye, who is married to John, 71, has a number of relatives who served in conflict, including her great uncle, Thomas James Fudge, who died aged 21, in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

He was a member of the Lancashire Fusiliers and had worked as a miner at Boldon Colliery before he served in the First World War, with a memorial to him in Ypres and his name on the war memorial in Tyne Dock.

Her father Thomas Williama Coatman, who died in 2011 aged 90, also served in the Merchant Navy.

She said: “We go down to the park regularly and I just couldn’t believe it when I saw what had happened to the mural.

The Graffiti damage done to a War Mural at West Park, South Shields.

“It’s absolutely disgusting, I don’t know what sort of people they are and it's been looking like that for months now.

“I thought with Remembrance Sunday coming up shortly, something would be done about it.

“I think they need to show respect for people, it could have been their great-grandparents or grandparents as well.”

John added: “The mural is lovely, it's got Lest We Forget on it, two soldiers, it’s all green and blue and whoever has gone this has come along and spoiled it.”

The Graffiti damage done to a War Mural at West Park, South Shields.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, the council’s lead member for area management and community safety, said: "We are disappointed that someone has chosen to deface this artwork, especially at this poignant time of year.

"We appreciate the upset this graffiti will have caused and are working hard to have it removed before Remembrance Sunday."

Councillor Joan Atkinson.
The Graffiti damage done to a War Mural at West Park, South Shields.
The Graffiti damage done to a War Mural at West Park, South Shields.