Captain Sir Tom Moore Covid victims memorial vandalised in 'disgusting' attack

8 April 2021, 14:31 | Updated: 8 April 2021, 18:55

The coronavirus memorial featuring a Captain Tom quote has been vandalised
The coronavirus memorial featuring a Captain Tom quote has been vandalised. Picture: BPM Media

By Will Taylor

A memorial dedicated to the victims of the coronavirus pandemic bearing a quote from Captain Sir Tom Moore has been vandalised days after it was unveiled.

The memorial in Fenton Park, which included a plaque bearing a message from the late NHS-fundraiser who inspired the nation, was left badly damaged with flowers ripped from a wreath commemorating more than 700 Stoke residents who died from Covid-19.

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.

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore's family urge people to back 'Captain Tom 100' charity challenge

Flowers were pulled from a wreath commemorating people who died from Covid-19
Flowers were pulled from a wreath commemorating people who died from Covid-19. Picture: BPM Media
The bench and garden memorial's vandalism left residents appalled
The bench and garden memorial's vandalism left residents appalled. Picture: PA

"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."

Annah Williams, 34, added: "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."

The memorial garden, which was discovered to have been vandalised on Wednesday afternoon, was only unveiled last month and marked the start of the first lockdown.

It included a bench dedicated to healthcare workers who died in the pandemic, as well as the plaque with Captain Sir Tom Moore's quote: "The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away."

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore’s career: Facts from the war, his business days and the incredible NHS walk

Karen Smith, 60, from Fenton, said: "It's shocking how people can be so thoughtless. I don't understand why somebody would do that sort of thing."

She added: "Some people just don't have any respect for anything. It's awful and makes you feel like why bother having anything nice."

Second World War veteran Captain Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30 last year.

Read more: Plan to celebrate Captain Sir Tom Moore's life revealed by his daughter

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore honoured with military flypast and honour guard

A plaque commemorating people who died from Covid-19 was attacked
A plaque commemorating people who died from Covid-19 was attacked. Picture: BPM Media

He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.

His fundraising efforts inspired a nation as people struggled to come to terms with the upheaval brought by the pandemic and the lockdown, and he was praised by politicians and the Queen, who sent a private message to his family after his death.

Captain Tom was knighted at Windsor Castle after his fundraising efforts
Captain Tom was knighted at Windsor Castle after his fundraising efforts. Picture: PA
Captain Tom became a national hero for his NHS fundraising work
Captain Tom became a national hero for his NHS fundraising work. Picture: PA

Captain Tom was given a knighthood at Windsor Castle from the Queen.

He was famous for providing uplifting quotes - such as the one on the vandalised plaque - including his remark that "tomorrow will be a good day".

Relatives of the veteran have organised fundraisers in his memory since he died.