Cruel thugs have vandalised war graves dedicated to soldiers who died fighting in World War One, sparking outrage just days ahead of the centenary of Armistice Day.
The mindless criminals smashed the war graves in Dalziel Cemetery, North Lanarkshire, which were marked with a form of pedestal stone in 2016.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) said it ‘beggars belief’ that the vandals could be so thoughtless.
Iain Anderson, CWGC manager for war graves in Scotland, said: ‘In a few days we are due to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
‘It beggars belief that someone could do this at any time but at this time of year it is particularly upsetting.
‘We are sending a team of our craftsmen to the cemetery to see what can be done.
‘Those markers beyond repair will be placed on priority order, while we hope others can be repaired.’
He added: ‘We will restore the war graves to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those buried here as soon as possible and will never allow such acts to diminish the memory of those who paid so high a price for the freedoms we enjoy.’
One of the graves is dedicated to Private A Little who died on October 30, 1918 while serving in the Gordon Highlanders – just days before the war ended.
Another grave was dedicated to Private R A Murhead, who served in the Seaforth Highlanders and died on March 26, 1915.
A temporary marker was put in place to honour the war graves, while they are repaired.
Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council said: ‘We were appalled to learn of this mindless act of vandalism within a cemetery.
‘At a time when the nation is preparing to mark the Centenary of the end of the Great War, this despicable act is all the more galling.
‘We are urgently meeting with the War Graves Commission to discuss what action can be taken to make repairs.
‘I would urge anyone with information about this hideous crime to contact the police.’
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11 to honour the men and women who lost their life in the war.
This year marks 100 years since the end of World War One and the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany.