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"Fighting back with kindness and respect"

Monday 11 May 2020

"Fighting back with kindness and respect"

Monday 11 May 2020

Flowers are being laid at Guernsey's main War Memorial after the Liberation Day wreath was found in pieces, just hours after the Bailiff laid it as one of his final duties before retiring today.

Sir Richard Collas placed the wreath - shaped and designed like a Guernsey flag - at the memorial at the top of Smith Street on Saturday, 9 May, 75 years after the island was liberated from occupying forces at the end of the Second World War.

Sir Richard retires as Bailiff today, so the commemoration and celebrations planned for the 75th anniversary of Guernsey's liberation were due to be his final official duties. 

However, with the island still in lockdown as a handful of residents still fight covid-19, Sir Richard laid his wreath in a solo ceremony, filmed and shared online, with a moving voice-over where he described why the tradition is carried out.

The wreath didn't last more than a day though, as it was found in pieces on Lefebvre Street on Sunday 10 May.

Kim Bougourd took the photo below, and reported the matter to Guernsey Police, who said "the wreath was not repairable and had to be seized by Police". 

Some people have suggested the wreath may have been damaged by the wind, or by gulls looking for good, but many believe it has been damaged deliberately by vandal(s).


Pictured: Kim Bougourd gave Express permission to use the photo she took of the destroyed wreath.

Shortly after seeing the images of the destroyed wreath, Janet Unitt used her exercise time to walk to the War Memorial at the top of Smith Street to place some flowers of her own.

On her personal Facebook page she posted:

"I've made a start. Hopefully others will follow. Fighting back with kindness and respect."

She added, "please be sure to only do this in your allocated outdoor time and adhere to social distancing rules."

Her example was soon followed by Josh, Beth and Harry Gabriel who placed flowers from their own garden at the memorial too.

The police investigation into the damage caused to the wreath continues.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police station on 725111 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Pictured top: Janet Unitt's flowers placed at the War Memorial at the top of Smith Street.


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