A CAMPAIGNING mother whose son was killed in Iraq has criticsed vandals for defacing a Lanarkshire war memorial to those who died in world wars using the word "rats" and "scum".

The vandalism was discovered at the Duchess of Hamilton Park in Motherwell which celebrated its 100th birthday two years ago and is home to a war memorial commemorating those who died in the First and Second World Wars from across the district.

North Lanarkshire Council which posted pictures of the graffit, urged the public to contact Police Scotland with any information that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators and added: "This disrespectful act can't be tolerated."

READ MORE: Vandals deface Motherwell war memorial with words 'rats' and 'scum'

Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Basra in 2004, hit out at those responsible for defacing the monument in Duchess of Hamilton Park, in Motherwell.

HeraldScotland: Rose Gentle's son Gordon was killed on patrol in Iraq in 2004

Ms Gentle, who became outspoken critic of the UK government's handling of the war and set up Military Families Against the War and Justice 4 Gordon Gentle said on social media: “What is it with these people?

“No matter what you are or what you believe in, there is no need for this.”

And Cammy MacLeod of veterans charity Who Dares Cares said: “It is outrageous. There seems to be a spate of these things happening.

“For someone to go out and do this days after the D-Day commemorations is an utter disgrace.”

The memorial, which features a a three stepped base, a cenotaph style column and a lion couchant, has the names of over 1100 who died in North Lanarkshire in both world wars.


It also features inscriptions of the countries and regions that were the focus of the both world wars, including France, Belgium, Jutland, Gallipoli, Salonica, Mesopotamia, Palestine and the Falklands.

Vandals had written the word 'Rats' above a Palestine inscription.

Above the names of the dead was written, "scum of the earth" and "cowards".

READ MORE: War graves destroyed by mindless vandals ahead of D-Day 

Deputy council leader Paul Kelly said: “I’m outraged and appalled at the vandalism to the war memorial in Duchess Park and I would appeal to anyone with information about those responsible to contact Police Scotland."

The memorial also features a sword within a wreath and a Motherwell crest flanked by two Scottish soldiers standing at ease. Beside each of them is a kneeling soldier holding out a flag.

It takes on special significance on Remembrance Sunday when people from across the area come together to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom The park was gifted to the people of Motherwell in September 1917 by the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton who once owned a great deal of land in the area.


Police Scotland said that the incident which saw the memorial and name plates vandalised happened between Saturday, June 8 and Monday, June 10 and appealed for witnesses.