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Plaque stolen from John Cornwell Cottages, Hornchurch

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#1 Mike L

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:49 PM

Tragically I heard yesterday that a memorial plaque to John Travers Cornwell VC has been stolen from Cornwell Cottages, Hornchurch.
A Hornchurch RBL member, RM veteran and resident at Cornwell Cottages advised that the plaque was stolen a couple of days ago.
John Cornwell, I am sure many here will know, was a WW1 Boy sailor who was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Jutland. The cottages were built in Hornchurch as a national memorial to the boy sailor.
This incident, along with several similar ones posted on this forum fills me with with shame for what this country is coming to.
It is perhaps fitting however that this forum and it's members, through the 'mystery plaque' thread, has undertaken a huge effort to return a memorial plaque found in Hornchurch to it's original home in Tottenham.
I wonder if Cornwell's plaque will ever be found?
Pictures of the cottages and plaque before the theft.

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#2 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:08 PM

This sort of theft appears to be on the increase and really sickens me when I read about them.

Words really fail me.

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#3 Mike L

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:27 PM

Absolutely sickens me. Some people have no respect at all.
I will go past there tomorrow and take a photo for a disgusting 'then and now' to go with the photo of the stolen plaque.
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#4 Mike L

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 10:56 AM

A very sad 'then and now':mad:

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#5 4/7 RDG

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 02:07 PM

A shameful act and you have to wonder what motivates people to do things like that - not for scrap value, surely? Despicable, disrespectful and shameful.
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#6 James S

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:05 PM

The human race sometimes never fails to disappoint, disgust - only disgust.
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#7 Mike L

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:23 PM

It's not a huge plaque for God's sake - how much could it be worth?

I hope if it is taken to a scrap merchant he would have the guts to refuse it.
And if it was taken as some sort of momento perhaps that makes it even worse - someone who appreciates what it stands for stole it.

Either way thoroughly I'm peed off.
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#8 Owen

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:35 PM

As Then & Nows go that's one I wish hadn't needed to be done.
:(
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#9 Mike L

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:58 AM

Amen Owen.:mad:
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#10 geoff501

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 08:18 AM

Thanks to the power of google, I found another memorial, in words.



The Ballad of Jack Cornwell
by Charles Causley.

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#11 suekeene

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 02:58 PM

I was looking up the history of Jack Cornwall and came across your site which I have now registered for. Has the Jack Cornwall plaque been found?

Sue
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#12 Pete Keane

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:47 PM

No, I believe not - Mike would have let us know otherwise.

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#13 ritsonvaljos

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:06 PM

With increasing scrap metal prices any metal memorial plaque is increasingly at risk of being stolen. It is not just war memorials that are being stolen. I have read reports in the newspapers of churches losing lead roofing, metal railings etc. Really, anything that is made of metal is at risk from these characters if they can go on to sell the items as scrap metal.

The scrap metal value of a memorial plaque is still not going to be that high. Last year, for another WW2 forum, I wrote about the dedication of a WW2 memorial plaque near where I live. Within a matter of weeks I was informed by a relative who had went to look at this memorial it had 'disappeared' (i.e. stolen).

When I asked the person who had made the arrangements to get the memorial installed in the first instance what had happened, he told me it had been stolen. Eventually, he told me the memorial had turned up at a scrap metal merchant's about an hour's drive away. It was re-installed with some improved measures to prevent a further theft. I was asked not to write in detail about what had happened. This is why I have only given a brief outline as to what happened.

It really is sickening what some people will do for a few pounds. Stealing a war memorial is disrespectful to the memory of those it commemorates. In fact, it is really like the desecration of a grave.

If anyone is ever caught for stealing the Jack Cornwall VC memorial how severe would their sentence be? Would they be made to pay the full cost for the restoration of the memorial? One wonders ............. ?
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#14 cash_13

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 09:54 PM

Pikey's garrenteed....there thieving holds no bounds.....they will steal anything from anyone.......thats not to say others wouldn't but 99% it is even more so as its in Essex which raises the possibility... :mad111:
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#15 ww2ni

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:16 AM

Disgusting!!
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#16 Peter Clare

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:23 AM

A disgusting state of affairs. They are just thieving toe-rags and if found should be punished as such.
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#17 Mike L

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:57 PM

Just come home after a few days in Scotland and sorry to say that as far as I know there has been no news of Cornwell's plaque.
Of course if I hear any thing I will post here.
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#18 Mike L

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:33 AM

News on Cornwell Cottages:
I have heard that an organisation of Hornchurch businnesses, having heard about the theft, have arranged for some maintenance works and a replacement plaque.
As I understand it the metal railings have been stripped and repainted and I will advise when there is more news about the new plaque.

There are still some worthy people around

:)
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#19 Mike L

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:49 PM

Some good news - and some not so good.
A new plaque has now been fitted (thanks to some generous Hornchurch businesses) but for some reason the reference to the VC has been omitted!
There is talk that the new plaque will be re-made with the reference to the decoration added.
Compare the new plaque below to the original in earlier post.

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#20 Driver-op

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 01:41 PM

I'm really sickened by this. When I was a youngster I went to school in Leyton, Essex and a picture of Jorn Travers Cornwell hung in our school. His parents lived in Clyde Place, Leyton and I believe John was born their - he was very much a local hero. And to think some toerag would steal a memorial to such a young VC is so lamentable - I hope he rots in hell.
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#21 ramacal

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 06:27 PM

I'm really sickened by this. And to think some toerag would steal a memorial to such a young VC is so lamentable - I hope he rots in hell.


And so say all of us.:(
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#22 Mike L

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:21 AM

Amen indeed Rob.

Any more progress and I will keep the forum updated.

Whilst I of course share the universal condemnation of the thieves I am heartened by the actions of those who have contributed to the replacement of the plaque, even if there is a slight error, and the proposed intention to correct it.

There are still some honourable people about!
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#23 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 06:54 AM

I have, many a time, made my feelings very clear on the disgust I feel towards those who would perpetrate crimes of this type.

I firmly believe that these crimes will continue until those who uphold the law in this country pass sentences that reflect the horror that is felt by all right minded people when memorials to the fallen are desecrated in this manner.

Ron
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