'Disgraceful yobbery' - outrage at image of man sitting on war memorial
PUBLISHED: 13:23 31 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20 02 April 2019
A man photographed sitting on a war memorial during a festival in a north Norfolk town has been criticised for a "disgraceful act of disrespect" after the image sparked outrage online.
The photo of the man seated on the top tier of the Cromer war memorial was taken during the town’s Vintage 1960s Festival on Saturday, March 30.
It led to an outpouring of criticism after the image was shared on social media, with dozens branding his actions “disgraceful” and the town’s mayor describing it as “yobbery”.
Cromer mayor David Pritchard said: “I am extremely disappointed to see a photograph of a disgraceful act of disrespect today.”
“There is a photo of an middle-age male sitting on the upper tier of the middle section of the memorial.
“Apparently, despite being asked to get down, he refused.
“What a brilliant display of yobbery he has been.”
Mr Pritchard added: “I really hope he is proud of himself but also realises he will never be a fraction of a man that those who are named on the memorial were.”
There is a sign at the base of the memorial asking people not to climb onto the structure.
Mr Pritchard said he inspected the memorial the morning after the incident.
He said: “Following yesterday’s incident of blatant disrespect to the war memorial and the men who are named on the base, an early morning inspection has taken place and we are pleased to say that no damage has occurred.
“I was approached by a lady who said she was happy to see so many people looking out for the memorial.
“She said: ‘It was absolutely disgraceful to see the photo of this man on Facebook.’
“As a reminder to anyone else thinking of repeating this, there is a sign at the base of the memorial asking people not to.”
Dozens shared their reaction to the man’s actions on social media.
Nige Barrett said: “Maybe time for a chain link fence around the base.
People will be climbing all over it.”
Trudie Cope added: “This person is an adult. He has chosen to act like a child who doesn’t know any better.
“That is his decision, therefore he should be treated as a child. Children who act badly should be ignored or need to be educated and respect people who have given their lives so as others may live in a free society.”
And Bridgette Dowsing said: “[I] showed this to my son. He is 12-years-old and was absolutely disappointed that anyone would even think of sitting on a war memorial.
“He said names on this memorial list people who have given everything, to give us what we have today.
“It is awful to see such disrespect to their memories.”
She added: “My son regularly goes to a local cemetery, to a WW1 grave.
“We are not related to the family - but my son says there is no-one left to tend this war grave. So he looks after it and ensures there is always a floral tribute.”
Other commenters questioned whether the man understood the memorial’s importance, while some asked whether the photo told the full story.
Do you think the image is disrespectful to the war memorial? Email Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk