Memorial trees trashed by vandals

THE daughter of a Portishead war hero was left shocked and saddened after hooligans trashed trees planted in her father’s memory.

Vandals attacked silver birch trees which were planted as a tribute to Squadron Leader Tommy Broom, who died in 2010 aged 96.

The World War Two veteran, who was involved in 83 sorties and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross three times, lived in Portishead all his life. Two of the five trees which stand on grassland in Roath Road, where the cottage Tommy was born in once stood, were snapped in half in the early hours of Monday morning.

A disturbance was heard by nearby residents at about 2am but the incident was not reported to police until 11am.

Mary-Ann Iles said: “My father would be disgusted by this wanton vandalism which seems rife in Portishead at the moment. Much effort and resource by Portishead in Bloom and the town council is in danger of being ruined by a few thugs and we should all expect the police to take tough action against them.”

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The trees were planted last year by members of Portishead in Bloom, the Royal British Legion and Tom’s family. They have been tended by Portishead in Bloom ever since.

Sandy Tebbutt, the group’s chairman, said: “Perhaps the vandals responsible should take a minute to think that if wasn’t for brave men and women like Tom, who gave their youth in defence of this country during the Second World War, they would not be lucky enough to enjoy the freedom and democracy that we all do.

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“There are many local people who put a lot of work into making Portishead a great place and it is a huge pity that there are a few mindless people around who take pleasure in destroying the work that these volunteers carry out.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to contact them on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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