Whilst on a school trip to the Menin Gate memorial in Belgium a schoolboy has been jostled by members of the BNP. The memorial was built to commemorate the thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient in 1914-17.
Its walls are inscribed with the names of 54,360 men who died for the British cause – including the 40th Pathans, an Indian infantry regiment which suffered great losses.
The schoolboy, William Robey, was visiting the memorial as part of a school trip and spotted Griffin and party supporters, and asked if he could have a photo of Mr Griffin in front of the memorial, which included a Regiment of Indian soldiers who fought for the British at Ypres.
William said; “I asked him if I could take his picture, next to the memorial for Pathan Indians. He reluctantly agreed, but as I went to take my photo I asked him, ‘Isn’t this against your party’s policy?’ One of his supporters put his hand over the lens, told me to ‘get my facts straight’, and grabbed my arm.
“I took the picture but it’s very blurry. I said to him, ‘Your party’s built on hatred.’ He started shouting at me, pointing his finger. The rest of his lot were all laughing and smirking. I just felt a bit sick inside to see him there to be honest.
“There they were with their poppies on, trying to put this respectable front on, yet they’re happy to confront a 13-year-old at a war memorial to try and get their point across.
“He was just saying ‘I’ve got lots of Sikh friends’ when my teacher stepped in and took me away.”
William’s mother said that since the incident her son had been approached by a number of people who wanted to congratulate him for “standing up against racism.”
I would like to add mine too.