The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is disgusted by an act of vandalism that has seen war graves at the Globe Cemetery in Motherwell desecrated ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
Stones marking the graves of three Commonwealth soldiers from the First World War have been deliberately smashed.
The three vandalised war graves in the cemetery were marked with a form of pedestal stone – known to the CWGC as a Gallipoli marker – in 2016.
This form of marker was first used by the CWGC after the First World War in Gallipoli, Turkey.
Iain Anderson, the CWGC’s Manager for war graves in Scotland, said: “In a few days we are due to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
“It beggars belief that someone could do this at any time but at this time of year it is particularly upsetting.
“We are sending a team of our craftsmen to the cemetery to see what can be done. Those markers beyond repair will be placed on priority order, while we hope others can be repaired. We are also working with the local authorities on this matter.
“We will restore the war graves to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those buried here as soon as possible and will never allow such acts to diminish the memory of those who paid so high a price for the freedoms we enjoy.”
The three stones have now been removed and temporary metal markers put in place – the total cost of replacing them will be around £1000.
It is expected that it will take around six months for them to be replaced.
North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue said: “We were appalled to learn of this mindless act of vandalism within a cemetery.
“At a time when the nation is preparing to mark the Centenary of the end of the Great War, this despicable act is all the more galling.
“I would urge anyone with information about this hideous crime to contact the police.”
Councillor David Cullen, Armed Forces and Veterans Champion for North Lanarkshire added: “This act of vandalism is utterly deplorable.
“These War Graves honour the memory of people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and deserve to be treated with care and respect.”