Car crashes into Sarisbury Green War Memorial leaving graves 'desecrated' in 'terribly shocking' incident
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A blue 4x4 ploughed through the railings and wall surrounding the monument in St Paul’s Churchyard in Barnes Lane, Sarisbury Green – destroying much of the surrounding area. Fareham Borough Council leader and Sarisbury ward councillor Seán Woodward said he is appalled by what happened and has never seen anything like it before.
He told The News: ‘It’s terribly shocking. The war memorial has been damaged, as well as a number of graves.
‘Two substantial fences have also been destroyed.’ The Conservative politician said the crash happened on Monday at roughly 11.15am.
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The historic monument has had significant damaged caused to its base. It lists the names of 54 people who died in World War One and 16 in World War Two. Fareham Borough Council have since put safety barriers around it.
‘The war memorial is over a century old and has stood the test of time,’ Cllr Woodward added. ‘Two small obelisks have been smashed off it and the whole surroundings have been destroyed.
‘Grave stones have been toppled and graves desecrated at the other side of the memorial, some of which ended up in the church yard. The first thing that came into my mind is that on Armistice Day, I hold a service there on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
‘Up to 100 people would have been standing there where this vehicle shot through. It was lucky that no one was at the memorial or on the pavement.’ Cllr Woodward added that a ‘substantial’ insurance claim will be made against the driver and it will be a challenge to make the repairs.
He added: ‘The church will need to get the graves repaired and get in touch with families, as the graves of their loved ones have been desecrated.’ A Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary spokeswoman said police were called at 11.17am after a blue Suzuki had gone through the railings and went into the war memorial.
She added: ‘No injuries were reported. No-one has been arrested and the matter has been filed.’