Knitted Poppies were ripped from Penge War Memorial railings by two men/teenagers last night (Thursday).
More than 500 Poppies had been placed on the Memorial in Penge High Street by Cllr Kathy Bance, a former Mayor of Bromley, and and a group of volunteers on Wednesday night.
News of the appalling act of vandalism was posted on Facebook by Nigel Wooliston, a Cadet Force adult volunteer at the Army Cadet Unit close to St Johns church which is across the road from the Memorial.
His message was as follows:
There is a War Memorial at the entrance to the Penge recreation ground which has been tended and looked after lovingly for years by Penge Partners group and the cadet unit.
At 1930 this evening two men/ teenagers decided to tear down all of the knitted poppies that adorned the railings around the war memorial and left them strewn around the pavement and the road for no apparent reason.
Two of my cadets witnessed this and reported this to me but by the time I rushed out of the unit to confront them they were gone.
We got some boxes and collected all of the poppies and they are now at our cadet unit temporarily until we can contact someone from Penge Partners who I believe put them up in the first place.
I thought that I would post this incident on here mainly because I didn’t know where else to post it and just in case people were wondering what had happened to the poppies.
I apologise for any offence caused due to my contempt for the perpetrators.
Penge Partners say: “There has been a huge response from this. “The whole community of Penge is pulling together to get these poppies repaired or additional poppies knitted. “People suggested forming a repair group to enable to the poppies to be put back up – and we will be reinstating the poppies on Sunday at 12 noon.”
Tonight (Friday) a Scotland Yard spokeswoman told News From Crystal Palace: “We have received a report of criminal damage after poppies were damaged at a war memorial at High Street, SE20, at around 19.10hrs on Thursday, 18 October. “At this stage there have been no arrests. “Enquiries continue.”
Penge Partners was formed in 2007 to manage local community events which fall outside the scope and remit of Penge Festival such as Penge in Bloom, Penge Older People’s Network and Penge Overground celebration.
They say: “Our committee are a group who have served Penge for many years and who share a common commitment to Penge and Anerley.
“Our aims are to offer support for local projects and community groups and residents in Penge and Anerley; To promote greater understanding, partnership and integration between the diverse communities in Penge; to improve community safety; and to contribute towards the wellbeing of the area.”