VANDALS have targeted a once-neglected war grave which was lovingly restored by volunteers earlier this year.

A small picket fence and plants have been stolen from Burnley Cemetery after they were installed by former military police colleagues of Cpl Ernie Rogers, whose overgrown grave was discovered by retired RMP officer Ivor King.

IN April, Mr King and his friends John Woodcock and Michael Powell decided to take action to clear the overgrown area and restore the grave of Cpl Rogers and four other war graves dating back the First World War.

They were assisted by Mr Woodcock’s cousin, PC Dave Pascoe, himself ex-miliatry and a neighbourhood police officer in Pendle.

He said: “It’s very sad. The picket fence which surrounded the grave has been taken and plants removed.

“I’ve a feeling that it would have been children messing around, perhaps not realising the significance of the items but these are war graves and they should be respected and revered.

“As we come up to Armistice Day I just can’t help thinking about the adage of ‘We Will Remember Them’.”

Following the vandalism, which was discovered last week, PC Pascoe sprung into action with a plan to restore the graves once again.

He said: “The police cadets in Lancashire do a lot of voluntary work and they have some funding left to mark the Queen’s Jubilee.

“I can’t think of a more appropriate way of spending this money and we’ve managed to secure it.

“We will clear trees and foliage around these graves with the ultimate aim of having a British Legion Cross and some flowers on each of the war graves in Burnley Cemetery.”

PC Pascoe has had the full co-operation of Burnley Council and he, other serving police officers, police cadets and other volunteers will work on the area on Saturday, October 13.