28 Apr 2017

Family devastated by veteran's grave desecration

2:04 pm on 28 April 2017

The desecration of a WWII veteran Raymond Bedford's grave has left his family "devastated", grandson John Fleming says.

The bronze plaque on the grave of WWII veteran Raymond Bedford, which was stolen on Sunday - just two days before Anzac Day.

The bronze plaque on the grave of WWII veteran Raymond Bedford, which was stolen on Sunday - just two days before Anzac Day. Photo: Supplied / John Fleming

Cemeteries from Thames to South Waikato have been targeted by thieves in the weeks leading up to Anzac Day, and 16 bronze plaques from Hamilton Park Cemetery have also been stolen.

The grave of WWII veteran Raymond Bedford was desecrated just two days before Anzac Day.

The bronze plaque was stolen, and the ceramic flower bowl smashed. Photo: Supplied / John Fleming

Mr Fleming said his mother was cleaning up the grave at Omahu Cemetery on Sunday when she found his plaque missing, a ceramic bowl for flowers smashed and the entire headstone loosened from its base.

"My mother's just absolutely devastated about everything," he said.

"It took my mother probably another two days before she could really speak to anyone - it still upsets me now, talking about it."

Mr Fleming said the grave would cost $440 to repair.

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