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Ex-RAF soldier hits out after ‘callous’ vandals damage grave

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 01, 2014

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A FAMILY is heartbroken after ‘callous and heartless’ vandals targeted the grave of a former RAF servicewoman, snapping a wooden cross.

Deborah Warrington had been tending her mother’s grave at Barton Cemetery, hoping to replace flowers, when she noticed the wooden cross had been snapped and ripped out of the ground, while vandals had smashing a pot containing the flowers.

Mrs Warrington said: “I was absolutely distraught when I found the grave in the state it was, that on top of the fact it should have been my sister’s birthday, but unfortunately we lost her last year.”

Her mother, Lillian Stocks, who died in 2005, served in the RAF at home and abroad, along with her husband, Brian, and she was also the chairman of Barton British Legion Women’s branch.

Mr Stocks, 75, saw active service while in the RAF in Aden, Kuwait and Iraq in the 1950’s and 60’s and worked as a state registered nurse at the Derby Royal Infirmary on his discharge from the service.

Since the vandalism, he is still trying to come to terms with the death of his youngest daughter and has written a heartfelt letter, describing those involved as ‘callous and heartless’.

He said: “I am devastated beyond words. Whoever removed this cross from Lillian’s grave did it in an uncaring cynical fashion, destroying the carefully tended flower containers, overturning one and completely smashing another.

”I cannot believe that anyone could be so callous and heartless as to inflict this sort of pain on the relatives and friends of a deceased person.

Mrs Warrington, who has reported the incident to the police, said her mother also has a flat stone but a wooden cross was put in place to give an above-ground reminder of her final resting place as that area can be quite waterlogged, leading to damage of the stone.

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