Appeal launched to find gravestone vandals

Posted by AK Lander | On September 1, 2014 15:14

The people of Prestonpans in East Lothian are appealing for help to track down the vandals that toppled 19 gravestones in the town’s church, a thoughtless act of vandalism that has caused huge distress among residents.

With people laying their loved ones to rest in Prestongrange Parish Church since the year 1600, it means that many generations of local families could be resident in the churchyard. As memorial gravestones are designed to stand as a lifetime of remembrance for loved ones, the actions of vandalism have been understandably condoned by the local community.

Speaking of his anger through the social media site Facebook, sessions clerk Ian Wallace has urged anyone who has any information on the perpetrators to contact the police to help aid the investigation. As some of the gravestones weigh as much as a quarter of a tonne, it is clear that the vandalism is not the work of children.

Keen for those responsible to be found

Mr Wallace added that while punishing those responsible would gain nothing, he feels strongly that the culprits ought to be identified so that their friends and family can understand what kind of person would conduct such behaviour.

As Mr Wallace regularly gets requests from people looking for their ancestors in the graveyard, the fact that so many gravestones have been vandalised could potentially result in a serious problem if someone could not find the answers they need due to the toppled gravestones.

An appeal has also been made by Police Scotland, asking anyone who witnessed people acting suspiciously around the church to contact them to help bring an end to these troubles.

It is hoped that those responsible can be apprehended sooner rather than later, providing relief for family members and also ensuring that a similar act won’t happen again in the future.

Read more about Mr Wallace’s views here.

Image Credit: Pavels Hotulevs (