Poole cemetery vandals: war grave was one of those desecrated

Stonemasons inspect the damage

Stonemasons inspect the damage

First published in News
Last updated

The grave of a soldier killed in the First World War was among those attacked by the Poole cemetery vandals, its headstone snapped in half and left in the mud.

The damaged war grave, one of several at the cemetery crafted in Portland stone by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, commemorated Private H Hosking of the Somerset Light Infantry, who was killed on April 27, 1916.

Little is known of his life, except that he died just weeks before the Battle of the Somme, in which his regiment served, and his grave sits alongside the fallen of both world wars.

His headstone was one of the 25 toppled or broken at the weekend. Read the full story from Sunday here.

Stonemason Robin Case said the commission may replace the stone, but if asked they would fix it with a steel rod.

“It is terrible that someone would do this to any grave, but to a war grave shows complete lack of respect,” he said.

Margaret Hamblin, 74, of Oakdale, was among several grieving relatives who discovered her husband’s grave was among those damaged when she visited yesterday, after reading about what happened in the Echo.

“It has obviously been pushed over, but someone has fixed it, which is nice as it would have been awful to come here and see it in pieces,” she said.

“These people are sick.”

Her husband, Graham, died in 2008 of a sudden aneurism while walking their dog Taz, a small model of whom was broken by the vandals.

Their daughter Jane Hill, 54, who accompanied her mum to the site, said: “There are no words to describe the people who would do something like this; what is going on in their minds to think this is fun?”

Others were more fortunate, including 33-year-old Maria Darville, also of Oakdale, who found her father’s grave untouched except for part of a small wooden fence crushed by a fallen headstone.

“I’m just down here in my lunch break to check dad’s grave is okay before my nan comes down,” she said.

“It’s a relief it is mostly okay but she will probably be upset just that this has happened anyway.”

The cemetery, in Dorchester Road, is owned by Borough of Poole, whose Wallisdown-based contractor Excalibur Stone was out righting headstones and repairing damage.

Mason Tom Arnold said: “Our job is to make sure the headstones are stable and safe, as obviously there are people coming to visit these graves today to see if they have been attacked.

“These stones are very heavy – it takes three of us to move them using the right techniques and equipment, so you wouldn’t want one falling on you.”

A 23-year-old from Poole has been arrested and is helping police with their enquiries.

Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to call 101, quoting incident number 26:177, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s), based in Taunton, saw service on the Western Front, Mesopotamia – now Iraq – and Palestine.

 

The regiment amalgamated in 1959 to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, and  in 1968 to form The Light Infantry.

Finally, in 2007, it was joined with several other infantry regiments to form The Rifles.

Comments (13)

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9:11am Tue 29 Jan 13

nobbjockie says...

Hopefully the scum will be charged very soon which means his name will be released!
Hopefully the scum will be charged very soon which means his name will be released! nobbjockie
  • Score: 0

9:58am Tue 29 Jan 13

Lord Spring says...

CWGC will, not may be but it may take 18 months until it probably comes from their French engraving factory.
In cases of continuing damage in certain inner cities they replace with a Gallopli Style type
I trust they have been informed as they replace thousands each year across the world mainly due to corrosion
CWGC will, not may be but it may take 18 months until it probably comes from their French engraving factory. In cases of continuing damage in certain inner cities they replace with a Gallopli Style type I trust they have been informed as they replace thousands each year across the world mainly due to corrosion Lord Spring
  • Score: 0

10:25am Tue 29 Jan 13

Upkeep says...

Even the dead have no respect these days.
Whats going on ?
Even the dead have no respect these days. Whats going on ? Upkeep
  • Score: 0

10:30am Tue 29 Jan 13

Lord Spring says...

Harry Hosking was aged 19 and his death was Registered in Poole. (FreeBMD search)
Harry Hosking was aged 19 and his death was Registered in Poole. (FreeBMD search) Lord Spring
  • Score: 0

10:37am Tue 29 Jan 13

speedy231278 says...

No doubt they'll get a pathetic slap on the wrist, and told not to do it again. They should be made to pay for the damage caused, and if they've not got the money, they should be made liable for it when they do. If they try and avoid it by becoming unemployed, take it out of their benefit!
No doubt they'll get a pathetic slap on the wrist, and told not to do it again. They should be made to pay for the damage caused, and if they've not got the money, they should be made liable for it when they do. If they try and avoid it by becoming unemployed, take it out of their benefit! speedy231278
  • Score: 0

11:15am Tue 29 Jan 13

guisselle says...

Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old
1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth
Churchhouse, also known as Betty
taught at Hamworthy Middle school and
married my grandfather in 1926 at
United Reform Poole, she then became
Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.
Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old 1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth Churchhouse, also known as Betty taught at Hamworthy Middle school and married my grandfather in 1926 at United Reform Poole, she then became Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd. guisselle
  • Score: 0

11:41am Tue 29 Jan 13

TD61 says...

guisselle wrote:
Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old
1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth
Churchhouse, also known as Betty
taught at Hamworthy Middle school and
married my grandfather in 1926 at
United Reform Poole, she then became
Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.
If you are unable to get down to check for yourself, perhaps a call to the cemeteries department may help?

I phoned them to enquire about my relatives graves yesterday and they were able to put my mind at rest, so they seem to have a list names for those graves involved.

Contact details:

Poole Cemetery
Dorchester Road
Poole
BH15 3RZ

Email: crematorium@poole.go
v.uk

Enquiries: 01202 265235
[quote][p][bold]guisselle[/bold] wrote: Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old 1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth Churchhouse, also known as Betty taught at Hamworthy Middle school and married my grandfather in 1926 at United Reform Poole, she then became Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.[/p][/quote]If you are unable to get down to check for yourself, perhaps a call to the cemeteries department may help? I phoned them to enquire about my relatives graves yesterday and they were able to put my mind at rest, so they seem to have a list names for those graves involved. Contact details: Poole Cemetery Dorchester Road Poole BH15 3RZ Email: crematorium@poole.go v.uk Enquiries: 01202 265235 TD61
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Tue 29 Jan 13

bosco1 says...

So they have caught a culprit but wheres the others involved.? At 23 years old he should know right from wrong.. Lets hope he pays for all the damage and not a pathetic punishment like slap on the wrist and dont do it again.!! Well done to whoever gave info into who he is.
So they have caught a culprit but wheres the others involved.? At 23 years old he should know right from wrong.. Lets hope he pays for all the damage and not a pathetic punishment like slap on the wrist and dont do it again.!! Well done to whoever gave info into who he is. bosco1
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Wilkie says...

From the cps website:

How do Crown Prosecutors make the decision to charge a suspect with a crime?
The Crown Prosecutor will read the papers in the file and look at the evidence collected by the police. They then consider whether the case passes the two tests laid down in The Code for Crown Prosecutors.

1.The Evidential Test
The prosecutor must first decide whether or not there is enough evidence against the defendant for them to be convicted of the crime in a court of law.

This means that the magistrates or jury are more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge. If there is not a realistic prospect of conviction, the case must not go ahead, no matter how important or serious it may be.
It is the duty of every Crown Prosecutor to make sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence. In doing so, Crown Prosecutors must always act in the interests of justice and not just to get a conviction.

2. The Public Interest Test
If the prosecutor decides that there is a realistic prospect of conviction, he or she must then consider whether it is in the public interest to prosecute the defendant. Broadly speaking the more serious an alleged offence the more likely it will be that a prosecution is needed in the public interest. However each case is looked at individually.

A prosecution is less likely to be needed if, for example, a court would be likely to fix a minimal or token penalty, or the loss or harm connected with the offence was minor and the result of a single incident.

The interests of the victim are an important factor when considering the public interest. Crown Prosecutors will always take into account the consequences for the victim and any views expressed by the victim or victim's family.

However, The Crown Prosecution Service does not act for victims or the families of victims in the same way as solicitors act for their clients. We act on behalf of the public and not just in the interests of any particular individual.

For those that are affected, it may be worth dropping the cps an email at www.cps.gsi.gov.uk/d
orset to briefly express your outrage. This may have an affect on whether they believe it is in the public interests to prosecute.

Hope this helps.
From the cps website: How do Crown Prosecutors make the decision to charge a suspect with a crime? The Crown Prosecutor will read the papers in the file and look at the evidence collected by the police. They then consider whether the case passes the two tests laid down in The Code for Crown Prosecutors. 1.The Evidential Test The prosecutor must first decide whether or not there is enough evidence against the defendant for them to be convicted of the crime in a court of law. This means that the magistrates or jury are more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge. If there is not a realistic prospect of conviction, the case must not go ahead, no matter how important or serious it may be. It is the duty of every Crown Prosecutor to make sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence. In doing so, Crown Prosecutors must always act in the interests of justice and not just to get a conviction. 2. The Public Interest Test If the prosecutor decides that there is a realistic prospect of conviction, he or she must then consider whether it is in the public interest to prosecute the defendant. Broadly speaking the more serious an alleged offence the more likely it will be that a prosecution is needed in the public interest. However each case is looked at individually. A prosecution is less likely to be needed if, for example, a court would be likely to fix a minimal or token penalty, or the loss or harm connected with the offence was minor and the result of a single incident. The interests of the victim are an important factor when considering the public interest. Crown Prosecutors will always take into account the consequences for the victim and any views expressed by the victim or victim's family. However, The Crown Prosecution Service does not act for victims or the families of victims in the same way as solicitors act for their clients. We act on behalf of the public and not just in the interests of any particular individual. For those that are affected, it may be worth dropping the cps an email at www.cps.gsi.gov.uk/d orset to briefly express your outrage. This may have an affect on whether they believe it is in the public interests to prosecute. Hope this helps. Wilkie
  • Score: 0

9:04pm Tue 29 Jan 13

fossilmole says...

If this one's found guilty ...he should be told to 'Get his wallet out!' and pay for restoration of all the gravestones he has desicrated.

If he can't pay ... find out what he has of value and sell the lot. If he has no money get him digging graves for the next 5 years.
If this one's found guilty ...he should be told to 'Get his wallet out!' and pay for restoration of all the gravestones he has desicrated. If he can't pay ... find out what he has of value and sell the lot. If he has no money get him digging graves for the next 5 years. fossilmole
  • Score: 0

1:13am Wed 30 Jan 13

guisselle says...

TD61 wrote:
guisselle wrote:
Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old
1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth
Churchhouse, also known as Betty
taught at Hamworthy Middle school and
married my grandfather in 1926 at
United Reform Poole, she then became
Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.
If you are unable to get down to check for yourself, perhaps a call to the cemeteries department may help?

I phoned them to enquire about my relatives graves yesterday and they were able to put my mind at rest, so they seem to have a list names for those graves involved.

Contact details:

Poole Cemetery
Dorchester Road
Poole
BH15 3RZ

Email: crematorium@poole.go

v.uk

Enquiries: 01202 265235
Thanks for the information I will check
this out TD 61 most helpful! Glad to
hear your relatives graves were not
touched! My mother was cremated so
only have the bench down at Oakdale
library with her name on.
[quote][p][bold]TD61[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]guisselle[/bold] wrote: Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old 1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth Churchhouse, also known as Betty taught at Hamworthy Middle school and married my grandfather in 1926 at United Reform Poole, she then became Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.[/p][/quote]If you are unable to get down to check for yourself, perhaps a call to the cemeteries department may help? I phoned them to enquire about my relatives graves yesterday and they were able to put my mind at rest, so they seem to have a list names for those graves involved. Contact details: Poole Cemetery Dorchester Road Poole BH15 3RZ Email: crematorium@poole.go v.uk Enquiries: 01202 265235[/p][/quote]Thanks for the information I will check this out TD 61 most helpful! Glad to hear your relatives graves were not touched! My mother was cremated so only have the bench down at Oakdale library with her name on. guisselle
  • Score: 0

1:14am Wed 30 Jan 13

guisselle says...

TD61 wrote:
guisselle wrote:
Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old
1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth
Churchhouse, also known as Betty
taught at Hamworthy Middle school and
married my grandfather in 1926 at
United Reform Poole, she then became
Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.
If you are unable to get down to check for yourself, perhaps a call to the cemeteries department may help?

I phoned them to enquire about my relatives graves yesterday and they were able to put my mind at rest, so they seem to have a list names for those graves involved.

Contact details:

Poole Cemetery
Dorchester Road
Poole
BH15 3RZ

Email: crematorium@poole.go

v.uk

Enquiries: 01202 265235
Thanks for the information I will check
this out TD 61 most helpful! Glad to
hear your relatives graves were not
touched! My mother was cremated so
only have the bench down at Oakdale
library with her name on.
[quote][p][bold]TD61[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]guisselle[/bold] wrote: Despicable act hope my mum's step-mum's grave not touched, it is quite old 1940 I believe, Emily Elizabeth Churchhouse, also known as Betty taught at Hamworthy Middle school and married my grandfather in 1926 at United Reform Poole, she then became Mrs Elizabeth Anderson.The family home is in Oakdale Shottsford rd.[/p][/quote]If you are unable to get down to check for yourself, perhaps a call to the cemeteries department may help? I phoned them to enquire about my relatives graves yesterday and they were able to put my mind at rest, so they seem to have a list names for those graves involved. Contact details: Poole Cemetery Dorchester Road Poole BH15 3RZ Email: crematorium@poole.go v.uk Enquiries: 01202 265235[/p][/quote]Thanks for the information I will check this out TD 61 most helpful! Glad to hear your relatives graves were not touched! My mother was cremated so only have the bench down at Oakdale library with her name on. guisselle
  • Score: 0

10:13am Wed 13 Feb 13

westhowewarriors says...

gutless fu**s let us know a name ;)
gutless fu**s let us know a name ;) westhowewarriors
  • Score: 0

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