Gosport widow's heartbreak as memorial tree to dead husband is destroyed by vandals

A WIDOW has spoken of her heartache after a tree planted in memory of her husband was chopped down.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 2:26 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 2:41 pm

Julie Day’s husband, Dan, died on November 30, 2013 – with a tree being planted in Stanley Park, Gosport, the following year.

But last week, Julie discovered through Facebook that the tree had been cut down by vandals, allegedly to make a fire.

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The memorial tree and plaque in Stanley Park, planted in memory of Daniel Day. Picture: Dave Cox

Julie, who is self-isolating at her home in Leesland during the coronavirus outbreak, is distraught about what happened.

She said: ‘My new partner’s mum phoned me up to say what had happened.

‘It came as a real shock, I don’t know why anyone would do something like this.

‘Because we're self-isolating I never saw the damage in person – it’s absolutely devastating.’

The remains of the tree, along with the memorial plaque that stood in front of it, have been taken away by Gosport Borough Council.

Julie says the tree didn’t just have sentimental value for her, but also her son, Alfie.

‘We planted the tree for our son’s sake,’ she said.

‘He’s eight years old now but the idea was to give him a space to go and remember his dad when he’s older.

‘Instead, I had to explain to him what had happened – he was sad but gave me a big cuddle as I was very upset.

‘You would hope something like this wouldn’t happen, but here we are.’

Gosport Borough Council’s Streetscene team has contacted Julie to say the tree will be replaced, and the plaque will be replanted.

She said: ‘The council has been absolutely brilliant, I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done.

‘Apparently they will plant a new tree for us next year, which I am very grateful for.

‘I just can’t believe someone could ever do something like that, especially when they've seen the plaque in front of the tree.

‘That’s what hurt me the most – it was clearly done intentionally.’

Julie says the incident has been reported to the police.