The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has reported that the Benghazi War Cemetery is to be fully restored, following an attack by local vandals which saw many headstones broken, pulled out of the ground or pushed over. Another Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, the Benghazi British Military Cemetery, was also affected, although there are no Commonwealth war graves there.
The NZ War Graves Trust photographer has taken photographs of the graves of the 11 New Zealanders who served with the New Zealand forces and one with the Australian forces who are recorded as being buried in the Benghazi War Cemetery. They are:
Private Hedley BOULT, New Zealand Infantry
Flying Officer Hector CRAWFORD Royal New Zealand Air Force
Flight Sergeant Richard FEASEY, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Flying Officer William KAUTER, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Lance Corporal Arthur MILNE, New Zealand Army Service Corps
Sergeant Maurice MUTTON, New Zealand Infantry
Lieutenant Hector McAULAY, New Zealand Armoured Corps
Flight Sergeant Mitchell RIDLAND, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Aircraftman 1st Class Thomas SCOTT, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Pilot Officer William THURSTON, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Private Peter WARDLE, New Zealand Infantry
Lance Corporal Hugh INGLIS, Australian Provost Corps
The Commission sought a detailed report about the damage in both cemeteries where headstones were broken and disfigured.
“Both cemeteries will be restored to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those commemorated at Benghazi, but this could take some time because we will need to source replacement stones,” the commission says. “We will also need to be sure that it’s safe for the detailed work to be carried out, but in the meantime we will ensure that temporary markers are erected over the graves. We have no reports of any maintenance staff being injured in the attack.”