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£20,000 raised worldwide to clean vandalised Bomber Command Memorial | UK News

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More than £20,000 has been raised in just a few days to help clean up the Bomber Command Memorial after it was vandalised.

The RAF Benevolent Fund, which maintains the memorial, said more than 900 people from around the world had donated after white paint was splashed over the landmark during the weekend.

The memorial, which is maintained by the RAF Benevolent Fund, commemorates more than 55,500 members of the Bomber Command who died in the Second World War.

The RAF Benevolent Fund said public reaction after the vandalism had been “overwhelming”, with support “flooding in from around the world”.

The RAF Benevolent Fund has said it spends around £40,000 maintaining the memorial
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The memorial commemorates those who died in the service during the war

The worldwide interest in the memorial is no surprise, as members of Bomber Command came from across the globe – from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all corners of the Commonwealth, as well as from occupied nations including Poland, France and Czechoslovakia.

Of the 125,000 aircrew who served, 72% were killed, seriously injured or taken as prisoners of war.

Phase one of the cleaning is complete and the memorial, in London’s Green Park, is open to the public again.

Phase two, which includes cleaning the remaining paint and re-sealing the bronze statue, will be carried out over the coming weeks.

Queen Elizabeth II unveils the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London, watched by the Duke of Edinburgh
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The Queen opened the memorial in 2012, watched by a large crowd

Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, chief executive of the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “While we have been heartened by the public outcry following this attack, it is a shame this act of vandalism has turned our attention away from our mission of supporting those RAF veterans who need our help.

“It is vital we honour the memory of the fallen with memorials and museums to bring this heritage to life, it is the least we can do to repay the debt we owe.”

Police believe that the Bomber Command Memorial was the first of five targeted last Sunday and Monday and they believe the attacks were linked.

The figures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on the Allies sculpture in New Bond Street, London, which has been vandalised with white paint
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The figures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on the Allies sculpture in New Bond Street

Also vandalised were the Canada Memorial in Green Park, the Royal Marines Graspan Memorial on The Mall, a memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher and the “Allies Statue” of Second World War prime minister Sir Winston Churchill and his US counterpart Franklin D Roosevelt in New Bond Street.

Detectives think the attacker moved along the Mall towards Trafalgar Square, passing Canada House in the direction of St James’s Square, before ending on Jermyn Street.

The suspect could be recognised because of their unusual clothing
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This is the person police would like to identify
Police have released images of the man they want to speak to
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The person was wearing a face mask and ski goggles

Images have been released of a person wearing a face mask and ski goggles who police would like to talk with in connection with the attacks, and various rewards have been offered for information leading to a conviction.

On Friday night, John Murray offered £100 from his pension as a reward to help catch the person who vandalised the memorial of his colleague Ms Fletcher.

Mr Murray, 63, had also been policing the demonstration outside the Libyan People’s Bureau in London in April 1984 when Ms Fletcher was shot and killed.

He said he had been “just gutted” when he saw the damage at Ms Fletcher’s memorial.

Metropolitan Police undated handout photo of memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St James's Square, one of five memorials and statues in central London that were vandalised
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Murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher’s memorial in St James’s Square after it was attacked

Mr Murray, who has now retired and lives in Chingford, added: “I go there once a year to lay flowers and I have done for the last 34 years.

“Because I was standing next to her that day and we changed places three or four times I think if we had done it once more it could have been me.

“I regard it (the memorial) as almost a personal shrine, I made a promise to find out what had happened and every time I go there I repeat those words.”

:: Anyone who has information can call the incident room on 020 7321 8210 and speak to a detective.

Alternatively, call 101 quoting CAD reference 6493/20JAN, tweet @MetCC, report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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