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markinbelfast

Satanics steal stones?

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markinbelfast

The Sun

Satanic cult raided

Brit war graves

Poignant ... a rose stands between temporary plaques on graves where headstones were stolen near Arras

Pictures: DAN CHARITY

From STEWART WHITTINGHAM

in Arras, France

A SATANIC cult is being blamed for a sickening raid on British war heroes’ graves in France.

Nine headstones were broken off at a First World War cemetery in the north of the country.

Local police fear they were taken away for use in Devil worship rites.

They believe teenagers inspired by shock rock star Marilyn Manson were behind the outrage to the headstones, which commemorate the soldiers’ sacrifice.

The memorials were ripped or kicked out of the ground in the small Hibers Trench Cemetery in the

village of Wancourt, near the town of Arras.

French authorities have vowed never to give up their hunt for the culprits — and to make an example of them when are captured to discourage others and show Britain that they will not tolerate such desecration.

Shock star ... outrageous US cult heavy metal singer Manson

The stolen headstones all stood over graves of men who fell in trench warfare in 1917. They served in the Royal Field Artillery and Northumberland Fusiliers.

The stones have been replaced by temporary plaques marking the graves. They will cost £300 each to replace.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s office has been informed of the raid and surveillance has been set up at other cemeteries.

Local police chief Vincent Desforges promised yesterday that his officers will catch the perpetrators.

He told The Sun: “We will keep on looking for them no matter how long it takes. We are taking this very, very seriously and are shocked and appalled that anyone could do this to British war graves. Even if it takes years we will find them.”

He added: “I strongly believe that young people in a Satanic cult have done this.

Badges of honour ... Royal Field Artillery and Northumberland Fusiliers

“I think the cult would have come along in a lorry, kicked the headstones over and carried them off.

“They have probably taken them off to put in a cave or a cellar they use to carry out their rituals.

“They are probably using them as ornaments with candles around them or something. There are people in northern France who like such things as Marilyn Manson.

“I think these teenagers have done it as part of their work in a Satanic cult because there was no act of vandalism or political or religious motive to the desecration.

“No normal people would risk taking something from a war grave because they know they would be in serious trouble if they were caught and would be treated like an outcast in society.

The raid took place eight nights ago. The cemetery, where 133 British and three Canadian servicemen are buried, is on a lonely road next to the A1 motorway between Paris and Lille. It is on a hill in open countryside.

It must have taken at least two men to lift each 18in-high stone on to a vehicle.

Chris Farrell, of the French-based Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was telephoned by the mayor of Wancourt on Saturday last week to be told of the theft.

The CWGC look after the 2,915 cemeteries in France where 600,000 Commonwealth soldiers have their last resting place.

Mr Farrell, 52, said: “He rang very upset to say someone had seen the headstones missing as they cycled past.

“The French police immediately swung into action. One of the first things they asked was whether any of the soldiers were Jewish as they were worried about religious overtones.”

Twenty five officers descended on the cemetery and the imprint of a shoe was found.

The War Graves Commission have made an official complaint to the French. Director Tim Reeves said: “We are very angry this has happened.

“These sort of things are rare, thank goodness, but it is very upsetting for the relatives.

“The French are taking this very seriously and are determined to catch those people responsible.

“However, the cemeteries are quite remote and there is not much the authorities can do to guard them.

“For whatever reason this was done, it is just very shocking.

“We want to restore the cemetery as soon as possible and put everything back the way it should be. The headstones were taken from three rows in the cemetery and include a lieutenant, two gunners and four privates.

“Thankfully the men’s graves were not damaged in the attack and small plaques have temporarily been placed where the headstones should be.”

Some of the soldiers who fell in six months of trench warfare against the Germans from April 1917 were just teenagers.

Locals were horrified at the attacks on the cemetery.

Student Catherine Briarly, 20, said: “This is horrible. The British war dead have the utmost respect from all the locals because we have a constant reminder of what they did. Armistice Day is a national

holiday in France so we can pay our respects to our own war dead.

“We also always lay flowers at the British graves as a mark of respect. I can’t believe anyone would do such a thing as steal the headstones.”

Local builder Frederic Courtadon, 53, was appalled that the attack could have been carried out by Satanists. He said: “It’s sick. I hope they’re caught and punished severely.”

American heavy-metal star Marilyn Manson’s lyrics are violent, anti-religious and sexual.

Two teenage misfits claiming to be his fans killed 13 students and a teacher in the 1999

Columbine High School shooting in Denver, Colorado.

Assault on our heroes

IT is not the first time the French have desecrated our war graves. In April vandals defaced one of the biggest British military cemeteries, at Etaples, Normandy, with graffiti condemning the US-British invasion of Iraq.

Insults aimed at Tony Blair and President Bush were sprayed in red paint on a monument to Britain’s dead from the First World War.

Tribute ... the war memorial at Wancourt

In July, France was forced to apologise for the desecration of 40 graves of British, Canadian and New Zealand soldiers at a Commonwealth war cemetery.

The gravestones, at Saint-Aubert, near Cambrai, northern France, were knocked over and broken. A day later smashed gravestones and crosses were found at Aix-Noulette and Le Quesnel in copycat attacks.

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Chris_Baker

The punishment is straightforward enough, I reckon. Hibers Trench stands right next to the TGV line. A good push at the right moment would do.

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Will O'Brien
The Sun

Satanic cult raided

Brit war graves

Not exactly the bastion of journalistic integrity is it.....................My gut feeling is this a piece of tabloid sensationalistic clap trap...........It's far more probable to be a case of simple vandalism by youths (who may or may not be fans of the cross dressing Mr Manson)...............As a matter of interest there is a 'real' Satanic Coven in Milton Keynes where I live (I am not I hasten to add a member :o ) They tend not to publicise themselves with such bold & reprehensible acts (doesn't do their credibility much good) .....................no, I'll wager it was vandalism nothing else.

The punishment is straightforward enough, I reckon. Hibers Trench stands right next to the TGV line. A good push at the right moment would do.

Irrespective of who committed these acts, I think Chris's idea has merit :ph34r:

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John_Hartley

Is there any objective corroboration of this story.

Knowing the Sun's preference to lie rather than tell the truth about anything French (or European for that matter), I will take this with a pinch of salt until there is.

John

(PS: just watched Michael Moore's Bowling Columbine. The only link to the shootings put at Manson's door, came from the usual right wing religious nuts. Motives of the two killers are, to the best of my knowledge, unknown.)

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Guest Hill 60
Knowing the Sun's preference to lie rather than tell the truth about anything French (or European for that matter), I will take this with a pinch of salt until there is.

John - Going off topic for a minute: Do you recall the interview they ran several years ago with the widow of Colonel 'H' Jones VC? The interview had never taken place, the 'reporter' had approached females in his office and asked them to fill in the questions as if they were 'H's widow <_< They were caught out, and had to apologise.

I haven't looked at a copy of the Cat-Litter Daily for donkey's years, and never will.

I saw the 'Bowling for Columbine' programme, and was quite impressed with Manson. OK, the interview was obviously edited, but he came across as quite a well informed person.

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John_Hartley
Do you recall the interview they ran several years ago with the widow of Colonel 'H' Jones VC?

Lee - don't remember that one, mate. But I do remember the story the ******** ran about Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. The paper's only useful for one thing (if you get my drift).

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Will O'Brien
The paper's only useful for one thing (if you get my drift).

John........It's not even useful for that...........you'll still get newsprint on your bum even with the modern printing processes.. :lol:

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fatbob

I had the misfortune of picking up this rag and reading the article at the time of publication.

How anyone could take it seriously is beyond me but I'm sure some will. Manson is an easy scapegoat, hardly rivetting investigative journalism, rather lazy tabloid twaddle.

Shocking that people destroy these monuments to the fallen, shocking too that some hack is getting paid good money for writing such drivel.

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uncle bill

Sure it's horrible but to blame Mr Manson, really. Here in Limoges the ' satanic cult ' responsible for the destruction of soldiers headstones is the local council. Neglect and indifference have resulted in the headstones crumbling and some have lost their name plaques. Maybe they listen to Marilyn Manson too.

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j.r.f

PALS

i

I do not condone any vandalism but is it posible that death is a bit over the top.Surely one of the things our boysw faught for was a free society.Very very painfull though it might be perhaps a very few vandals is the price we have to pay.I donot meen that such acts should go unpunished.Maybe education is what is required.It is also my experence that it is not always young people who are responsible for such outrages.

Said my bit.

JOHN :(

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