Vandals strike again

Vandals strike again

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Serpentine Jarrahdale RSL president Ric Giblett inspects the damage done to the horse and soldier statue at the memorial park in Byford. Photograph – Matt Devlin.

Serpentine Jarrahdale RSL president Ric Giblett has been left disgusted by the desecration of a war memorial in Byford for the second time in under a year.

The Anzac horse and rider monument at the Glades in Byford was constructed at a specially built park in April last year but within weeks a stirrup had been ripped off.

Earlier this month the bronze scabbard was broken on one side and there was further damage done to the bronze saddlebag straps on the other side of the statue.

Mr Giblett, who worked for years to organise for the monument to be in place in time for last year’s Gallipoli landing centenary, said the vandalism showed a disrespect for the sacrifice Australian veterans made.

“A war memorial is a headstone for our diggers, it’s a memorial for those guys who never came home and it gives their families somewhere to grieve,” he said.

“Basically what these people are doing is desecrating a headstone and obviously the public are outraged about that when it happens.”

Mr Giblett said it was unclear exactly when the vandalism occurred.

“We would hate to think that it’s local children involved simply because we at the RSL are out and about in all the local schools spreading the Anzac message,” he said.

“We can only conclude that if it is children out on school holidays that have done this they have completely ignored that message of sacrifice.

“If it’s an adult who has done this then they should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law because they should know better.”

Mr Giblett said it could cost between $20,000 and $40,000 to repair the damage to the monument, given that it may need to be shipped overseas.

“It’s not just the monetary damage though, it’s what it represents,” he said.

“We at the RSL have a no tolerance attitude to any defacing of war memorials and we will be increasing our efforts as far as a reward goes to anybody who supplies information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any of the parties involved.”

Mr Giblett said the matter had been reported to Mundijong police.

Anyone with information should call Mundijong police on 9526 1900, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or email Mundijong.Police.Station@police.wa.gov.au.