Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “That way the next generation will realise it’s something special and we need to respect it.” Mr Stapleton said: “Why should the youth of today listen to us?”Why would they think these graves are anything special – we don’t care as a nation. Our generation doesn’t care about them.”It’s a bit rich of us to say to youths, ‘these are men of historic importance’, you shouldn’t desecrate their graves.”The nation as a whole needs to recognise these are men of historic, national importance.”Their graves should be looked after, they should be preserved and regularly maintained. A fundraising page has been set up by The Victoria Cross Trust, which has so far raised almost £300.The Victoria Cross was introduced in the 1850s by Queen Victoria to reward heroes of the Crimean War. It has since been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individuals. It is the highest award of the UK honours system, and is given out for acts of bravery and gallantry “in the face of the enemy”. Last year, when four World War One graves were destroyed in County Durham, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said such incidents were “extremely rare”. The Brierley Hill matter has not been reported to police. Heartless vandals have trashed the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning war hero at a churchyardCredit:The Victoria Cross Trust /SWNS.com After retiring from the Army, he settled in Brierley Hill until his death of December 8 1899.Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South, said: “It’s disgusting that the grave of VC recipient Anthony Booth in Brierley Hill has been desecrated, but [I’m] pleased that the The Victoria Cross Trust is planning repairs.” Mr Stapleton added that the vandalism was “quite rare” and the second time a VC hero had had his grave deliberately destroyed. “We are putting a plan together for restoration but it needs to be approved by the diocese first.”The headstone has been snapped off near the base and all the kerb sets have been dislodged.”It’s not just the headstone, the kerb sets need repointing and fixing. Its disgusting really that somebody could do this,” he said. Rev David Hoskin, rector in Brierley Hill, said: “Brierley Hill is proud of having a Victoria Cross recipient among their number. This is sad.”Booth received the VC on June 26 1880 at Windsor Castle from Queen Victoria, for his bravery when a large group of Zulus launched an attack on the British on the Intombe River.He covered the retreat of 50 soldiers and others for three miles, and his actions saved the lives of all involved. Anthony Clarke Booth VC. Heartless vandals have trashed the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning war hero at a churchyardCredit:victoriacrossonline.co.uk A manifestation of ‘Broken Window Theory’? Who is to blame? the vandal that desecrates or the indifferent who ignore? #wearyofthefight pic.twitter.com/bQlF3cij2V— Gary Stapleton FRSA (@Gary_Stapleton) August 16, 2017 The headstone of a Victoria Cross-winning hero’s grave has been destroyed by vandals. Gary Stapleton, chairman of the Victoria Cross Trust, said that the “next generation” did not realise the importance of war heroes’ graves because they were not well enough looked-after by society.The broken headstone of Anthony Booth, at St Michael’s Churchyard in Brierley Hill, West Midlands, could cost thousands of pounds to repair, according to the TrustBooth was given the award for fending off 400 Zulu warriors with just a handful of men in South Africa, during the Anglo-Zulu War in March 1879.Military history enthusiasts say they have been left devastated by the vandalism and have launched a fundraising campaign to fund repairs to the headstone, which could cost “four figures”.