Families concerned gravestones belonging to their loved ones at North Sheen Cemetery could have been damaged by vandals are being asked to wait while the damage is assessed.
Bereaved people from around the country are desperately trying to find out if the gravestones and memorials of their nearest and dearest were among those vandalised at the cemetery on Saturday (August 13) night .
However, Hammersmith and Fulham Council , which manages the site in Lower Richmond Road, Richmond, is asking people to be patient as it attempts to identify which graves have been affected.
Police have launched an investigation, and have been seen at the cemetery taking fingerprints from the damaged stones.
Anthony Rickman told getwestlondon of the “devastation” he saw when he went to visit his wife’s grave on Sunday (August 14) afternoon.
He said he counted nearly 50 graves which had been pushed over and damaged before stopping.
The story was posted on the Fulham Gazette Facebook page , where concerned readers asked if the graves of their loved ones had been affected.
One wrote: “I’m in Yorkshire these days does anyone know how we can find out if my Nan & Grandads grave is ok?”
And another added: “It’s awful I hope nans and grandads is okay zxx.”
H&F said on Monday (August 15) that damage was being assessed and it will be contacting families affected.
A spokesperson added: “We will be writing to people as soon as possible. We are taking stock of who has been affected and the letters will go out ASAP.
“If people don’t get a letter then their graves are OK.”
H&F has also arranged for a memorial mason to attend North Sheen Cemetery this week with a view to re-setting memorials pushed over and repairing those damaged.
Mr Rickman, from Fulham , said the grave of his wife Vicky escaped damage, but others around him did not. He said: “The place looks absolutely devastated. I think I counted up to 47 and then I stopped counting.
“A lot of them have been smashed and cracked. It’s crazy.
“The grave next to my wife’s was damaged and the family turned up. They were devastated. I felt so sorry for them.
“I was fortunate, but I’d be devastated if that had happened to me.”
Council leader Stephen Cowan said those responsible for the “appalling act” were “mindless vandals”.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 55511.