Welwyn Garden City WWI centenary rock tribute vandalised

PUBLISHED: 17:39 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:44 07 November 2018

The sign in Sherrardspark Woods as park of a #WGCROcks display to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Sarah Ariss

The sign in Sherrardspark Woods as park of a #WGCROcks display to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Sarah Ariss

Sarah Ariss

A Welwyn Garden City rock painting group is determined to continue their World War I commemorations after one member’s display was damaged.

This sign, made by a member of #WGCRocks to commemorate the end of World War I, was vandalised in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Lisa LukerThis sign, made by a member of #WGCRocks to commemorate the end of World War I, was vandalised in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Lisa Luker

Welwyn Garden City ‘Rocks’ - often known by their hashtag #WGCRocks - hide beautifully painted rocks around town for others to find and re-hide.

Their Facebook group, with over 2,500 members, posts and share pictures of the pretty finds all around town.

They often do special projects for seasonal events, such as their Halloween project which ended up with over 600 stones.

But as the centenary of the First World War approaches, a commemorative display has been vandalised.

One of the #WGCRocks on display in Sherrardspark Woods to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Sarah ArissOne of the #WGCRocks on display in Sherrardspark Woods to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Sarah Ariss

In Sherrardspark Woods, a sign to Welwyn Garden City’s fallen is damaged and has a footprint, making it look as though it was kicked.

The sign marks an incredible 200 poppy-painted rocks lodged at regular intervals all along the fence by the pathway for walkers to see.

“This was my tribute to the fallen,” said #WGCRocks member Nigel Parker, who said he’s going to replace the damaged sign. “I was saddened to see what someone did.”

Another rock line, in Welwyn Garden City’s Howardsgate, has been set up near the war memorial, and will culminate on November 11.

The #WGCRocks  in Sherrardspark Woods are lined up along the fence to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Sarah ArissThe #WGCRocks in Sherrardspark Woods are lined up along the fence to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Sarah Ariss

The rocks are painted with poppies, poetry verses, and names of some of the fallen soldiers of the Great War.

Jane explained that members will add rocks around the edge of the memorial in the days leading up to the centenary, after which point people can take them to rehide or take home.

The group hopes that this tribute won’t be disrespected.

“We always worry they will get taken but regardless, we always seem to do well,” said Jane.

The #WGCRocks are lined up alongside the war memorial in Welwyn Garden City's Howardsgate. Picture: Mia JankowiczThe #WGCRocks are lined up alongside the war memorial in Welwyn Garden City's Howardsgate. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

To get involved and learn more about eco-friendly ways of painting rocks, see their Facebook group at: www.facebook.com/groups/342136449558009

The #WGCRocks in Howardsgate to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Mia JankowiczThe #WGCRocks in Howardsgate to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

The #WGCRocks in Howardsgate to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Mia JankowiczThe #WGCRocks in Howardsgate to comemmorate the centenary of World War I. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

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