World War One memorial to Battle of the Somme victims in Yorkshire is vandalised and photographs destroyed

Police in Barnsley are appealing for information following damage being caused to the Battle of the Somme memorial in the town’s Peace Gardens.

Police in Barnsley are appealing for information following damage being caused to the Battle of the Somme memorial in the town’s Peace Gardens.

It is believed that screens containing the photographs of the Barnsley Pals who died on the first day of the World War One battle were destroyed at some time between the evening of Friday 17 June and the morning of Saturday 18 June.

Officers are now appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Light Lines in the Peace Gardens

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The artwork, called Light LInes, has been on display in the Peace Gardens since 2017. It began life as a temporary installation commemorating the 300 Pals outside Barnsley Town Hall, and was commissioned in 2016 before moving to its permanent home.

Sergeant Alun Oliver, from the Barnsley Central neighbourhood policing team which covers the gardens, said: "This looks to be wanton damage to a much-loved memorial which has caused anger among those who have seen the results.

“It is unclear the exact time the damage was caused, so we are appealing for anyone who may have been in the vicinity of the Peace Gardens on the evening of Friday 17 June and may have seen or heard anything suspicious, or anyone who has any CCTV or dash cam footage which may have captured something, to come forward and help us with the investigation.”

Anyone with information which could assist with our enquiries is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 333 of 22 June.

Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.