Stonemason repairs vandalised graves for free

Printer-friendly page
News release: 06 November 2017

Stonemason Anthony Knox has repaired vandalised gravestones for free to show “there are still some good people in the world”.

Stonemason Anthony Knox
Nine graves at Westfield Road Cemetery, Harpenden, were damaged on one night last month with several headstones being toppled over and smashed.

Most of the plots date back several decades and it was feared the families who owned them might not be traced or would be unable to pay for repairs.

Anthony, who owns Bedfordshire-based Memorial Makeovers, went into action after hearing about the crime.

He contacted St Albans City and District Council, which manages the cemetery, and offered his services for free. He has since repaired three of the graves and waived his bill of £1,600.

Anthony said: “After hearing about this crime, I went to the cemetery to have a look at the vandalised memorials.

“I thought it was a terrible, shocking thing that had happened and as a stonemason, it saddened me to see all these broken headstones.

“After thinking about it, I decided to donate two of my working days and go up to the cemetery to fix as many of the memorials as I could.

“If I hadn’t done this there is a danger that it might not have been done at all. The damage was extensive, but they now look as good as new.

“As a military man, a Sergeant with the Air Training Corps, I believe in showing respect to the dead. By doing this, I hope it will demonstrate that there’s still some good people in the world.”

Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community, said: “The whole community will be grateful to Anthony for volunteering his services in this way. It was a magnificent gesture.

“There were serious concerns that the graves might not be repaired because it was proving difficult to find the owners. Anthony has shown himself to be a very caring and public-spirited stonemason and has done an outstanding job.”

Stonemason Anthony Knox 2
Anthony Knox with Belle Daytonn
Pictures: 1. Stonemason Anthony Knox examines one of the vandalised graves; 2. Cemetery superintendent Belle Daytonn congratulates Anthony on his “good as new” repair.

Councillor contact:
Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community for St Albans City and District Council.  Tel: 07956 220264. Email:

Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City & District Council 
Tel: 01727 296130