SCRAP metal thieves have stripped plaques from a cemetery memorial commemorating the war dead.
The theft took place inside Kingston Cemetery, Kingston Road, from a 1.5 metre-high memorial for civilians who lost their lives in bombing raids during the Second World War.
Among the names is Peter Futcher, who died aged 12 during the attack.
His brother Brian Futcher, 67, who owns Squirrels antiques store, in Kingston Road, said he was shocked.
He added: ‘I’m very sad this has happened and I’m pleased my mother isn’t alive in one sense as it’s horrible. I hope the thieves find the error of their ways and I pray for their souls that they see sense.’
Portsmouth City Council, which owns the cemetery, has reported the theft to the police and has put out a warning to scrap metal merchants making them aware of the items.
Gerry O’Brien, cemeteries manager, said: ‘It was very obvious the plaques commemorated the civilian casualties of the Second World War, so we are shocked anybody could be this thoughtless. We have been working to prevent this happening to other memorials and have temporarily removed a similar plaque.
‘We will replace the plaques which have been stolen, and are hoping to do so by Remembrance Day.’
Police are also appealing for information. Anyone who can help is asked to call 0845 045 45 45.