AN EMOTIONAL war veteran is pleading with thieves to leave a treasured Ellesmere Port memorial alone.
Normandy hero Joe Chamberlain, 84, has spoken out after a second Union Flag was stolen from the Stanney Lane war memorial within six months.
The flag was taken in broad daylight between 2-4pm on Monday, March 8. Another flag was stolen last September while wreaths and flowers have also been removed in the past.
Mr Chamberlain, chairman of the Wirral and Chester Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association, says the culprits should be ‘ashamed’, adding that it will cost them about £90 to replace the flag.
“The members are disappointed to think that things like this happen when men have given their lives,” he said.
“You ask yourself, why? We’re talking about history. We’re all in our 80s. I was lucky, unlike many, to come back.
“But my wounds are in my head – horrible memories of war. From time to time they kick in and you get sad.
“I would like to ask those who do this to act responsibly. Leave things alone that are very dear to us. They should have respect for it.”
Branch secretary Yvonne Innes, 54, whose late father Ernie was a Normandy veteran, added: “There is no respect there, particularly from the younger generation. When I was younger we wouldn’t have dreamt of doing such a thing.
“They don’t think about the upset they cause. It’s so annoying they don’t care. We will put another one up, we’re just trying to find a solution to deter them.”
The Battle of Normandy, which took place between June and August 1944, was the prelude to victory in Europe in the Second World War.
If you witnessed the theft or have any information contact police on 0845 458 0000, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.