Mum’s agony after heartless yobs target soldier’s grave

Pauline Briggs with her husband Nick at Lee's grave.
Pauline Briggs with her husband Nick at Lee's grave.

A mother has been left inconsolable after heartless yobs stole floral tributes from her soldier son’s grave.

Pauline Briggs was devastated when she discovered flowers and a wooden cross were missing from the final resting place of her son, Lee Kirk, at Shirebrook Cemetery.

The flower holder had also been trampled on and pieces of pot were scattered around the grave.

The 56-year-old, of Rosling Way, Arkwright Town, said: “The people who did this don’t know what they’ve done to me.

“I’ve still not got over Lee’s death so I’ve been left heartbroken after this.

“Why would anyone do this to a grave? Why?”

Lee, who grew up in Shirebrook, joined the Army aged 17. He was based with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment – now the Mercian Regiment – and served in Northern Ireland.

Lee left the Army six years later and sadly died aged 23 after climbing an electricity pylon in 1997. It is believed he committed suicide as he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mrs Briggs said: “He was a lovely, popular lad and I miss him every day. When he died, a candle went out inside me and I can’t light it again.”

Mrs Briggs discovered the theft last Wednesday.

PC Adam Galley, of Derbyshire police, who is probing the crime, said: “This offence has caused great distress to Lee’s mother. It’s unlikely that the person who did this realised how much harm they were doing but there is no excuse for petty crime of this nature. I would urge anyone who knows anything about this offence to contact me on 101, quoting incident number 17124/14. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”