An appalled old soldier says the filthy state of Boxmoor’s war memorial for the annual Remembrance Sunday service was a disgrace.
Peter Hanks, 91, who served in the RAF for five years as a leading aircraftman, attends the public event every year without fail.
This year’s service saw the biggest ever turnout with veterans young and old, serving members of the armed forces, local dignitaries and the general public taking the time to pay their respects.
But Mr Hanks, of Leverstock Green, said: “On the north side of the war memorial particularly you can’t read the names because they are covered in filthy mould, it’s completely black.
“There must be dozens of names that have disappeared because they are covered in this awful black stuff.
“I was appalled by the state of it.
“I think it is the first time it has been in this state, it wasn’t like it last year.”
Former soldier Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning was among those to attend the service but said he did not notice the black dirt on the war memorial and added that it has been refurbished and cleaned in recent years.
He did, however, pledge to get the problem sorted. “Of course we will look into it,” he said. “A few years ago it looked quite bad and was done up quite extensively. I will speak to the legion and we will get it sorted.”