Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 17:17 UK

War memorial vandals criticised

The Caird Park War Memorial (Pic: Scottish War Memorials Project)
Names have been written and paint daubed on the war memorial

The state of a Dundee war memorial has been criticised as calls are made for it to be restored and relocated.

The monument in Caird Park records the names of the men from Mains Parish who died during World War One.

It was erected in 1922, but over recent years has been vandalised by people writing their names or slogans on it.

However, it may be difficult to clean because the sandstone could be damaged by any attempts to use chemicals or pressure washes.

The poor state of the monument was highlighted by the Scottish War Memorials Project, which is trying to record details of all the war memorials in Scotland.

David McNay, from the project, told the BBC Scotland news website that the Caird Park memorial was one of the worst they had seen.

"You do see the occasional bit of damage - that can happen over time, I mean some of these are approaching nearly 100 years old now," he said.

"But this does seem to be out of the ordinary, it just seems to have been left completely with no attention spent on it at all.

"Restoration needs to be looked at because some of the names recorded on there are in danger of being lost.

"And I also think relocation because it's obviously in a bad situation for vandals."

Caird Park war memorial
Trying to clean the memorial could damage the sandstone

Major Ronnie Proctor, from the Black Watch Association, added: "Vandalism to any war memorial really is quite shocking.

"The people who have committed this act should realise that the men whose names are on these memorials have actually given up their lives so they have got the freedom that they take for granted today.

"These names are not just names conjured up out of a hat but they have been sons, fathers, brothers, real people who lived."

Councillor Bob Duncan explained that the porous nature of sandstone made saving the monument difficult.

He said: "Unfortunately there is not a lot anyone can do now to clean up or preserve the stone after almost 90 years of exposure to the elements, and more recently vandalism of the worst kind.

"Sandstone, while an attractive rock, soaks up the inks and paints that have been daubed on it and any attempts to clean it only result in more damage.

"There is no way that it can be pressure washed or have any harsh chemicals used on it as the memorial is now comparatively delicate.

"The memorial was erected by the people of Mains Parish to commemorate their war dead, but unfortunately the community spirit that was so prevalent in the immediate aftermath of the horrors of World War One seems to no longer exist there."

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