Thieves steal trees from WWI memorial for bombed Poplar school

Mayor Lutfur Rahman planting the trees

Mayor Lutfur Rahman planting the trees - Credit: Archant

EXCLUSIVE: Thieves have stolen trees from a WWI memorial just days after they were planted to mark the deaths of 18 children killed in a German wartime bombing raid.

The spot in Trinity Gradens where trees were planted by the Mayor last week

The spot in Trinity Gradens where trees were planted by the Mayor last week - Credit: Archant

The trees were placed by Mayor Lutfur Rahman in Trinity Gardens, Poplar, near the site of the bombing of Upper North Street School in 1917 in a ceremony on April 1 attended by the Royal British Legion.

But within days, residents alerted the Advertiser that some of the trees had gone missing, along with a memorial plaque for the site.

Tower Hamlets Council confirmed the trees had been stolen, but said they would be quickly replaced.

A spokeman said: “We are saddened to find that three out of the 10 elm trees along with the black poplar tree planted by the council in Trinity Gardens to commemorate the First World War-era bombing of a local school have been taken.

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“We will be looking to replant the missing trees as soon as possible.”

She said no crime had been reported to the Met police as the trees will be replaced, adding: “Parks staff have been informed to keep a close eye on the trees once they are replanted.”

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She added the memorial plaque had yet to be “concreted” and was removed from the site by the council after the mayor’s ceremony.

Upper North Street School was struck by one of the first aerial bombings of the First World War on June 13, 1917. The attack targeted the East India and Millwall docks.

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