Amazing Vandalism At Jeanfield Cemetery





An Act of vandalism unprecedented in the history of the East End was perpetrated at the weekend when people broke into Jeanfield Cemetery, Parkhead, and uprooted, broke or disfigured over fifty tombstones, and turned up the soil of many graves.

The action has been the cause of widespread comment throughout the district and during the week many people have visited the cemetery.

It is believed that those responsible climbed the wall surrounding the cemetery on Saturday night after closing time and in a spirit of wanton mischief destroyed the graves.  The damage is confined to the south-western part of the cemetery, which is situated almost at the rear of Celtic F.C. ground.


The damage caused by the intruders amounts to several hundreds of pounds, as several of the tombstones cost over £50, while much damage has been caused to the shrubbery.  A most regretful feature is that some of the tombstones have just been erected by bereaved people. After gaining entrance, it appears that the law-breakers started at the top of a slight hill in the cemetery and worked their way down to the extreme south-western corner, breaking and despoiling many of the newest gravestones which they came across.

The deed appears to be the work of at least two fully-grown men although it is probable that they had accomplices.  The suggestion that the irresponsible youths may have been the cause of the trouble is ruled out by Mr John Kirkwood, superintendent of Jeanfield, who points out that the marauders in several cases lifted heavy gravestones and dragged them away from the grave before breaking them.


The cemetery was closed as usual on Saturday at half-past six said Mr Kirkwood and the first word I received of any irregularity was when a gravedigger came to my house at 48 Easterhill Place, Tollcross, on Sunday morning and informed me that during the night some person or persons had destroyed several of the graves.  When I saw what had been done I received a great shock, as I did not think that a person in his sane senses could or would have committed such an act. “It is the first time in all my experience that such a thing has happened in the cemetery, and I only hope that the police manage to secure hold of the individuals concerned.”

The case is being investigated by Det-Inspector McLellen of the Eastern Division and Det-Sergeant Barron of headquarters. Det-Sergeant Barron is a footprint and a finger print expert, and on Monday was busy taking casts of certain fooftprints on some of the graves, although he was somewhat hampered by the large number of imprints left by spectators on Sunday.


Jeanfield Cemetery has its main entrance in the Gallowgate and it is one of the biggest burying grounds in the East End. It is completely surrounded by a wall, which, however is easily surmounted by an active person.


This article was taken from the Glasgow Eastern Standard of Saturday May 7th 1932.  It gives an amazing account of an incident in the cemetery and a real insight into life in the east end at that time.  We see that the cemetery was locked and an event such as this caused crowds to gather at the scene!