AN ANGRY Micklefield couple were shocked when they saw a group of school children trampling over poppy wreaths and climbing on a war memorial - while they claim supervisors looked on doing nothing.

Bryan Dudley and Mary Bryant, from Windrush Drive, were walking past the memorial in the churchyard of High Wycombe's All Saints Parish Church, when they spotted the group of youngsters clambering across it.

Bryan, 59, said: "We walked down and there was all these young children all over the war memorial. We were just amazed and then we realised it was a school party and there were two teachers just standing there watching them.

"If one of those little children had fallen off they would have seriously damaged themselves. I'm a parent and I wouldn't like to think that my child was being looked after like that after school."

The school has since confirmed the group was led by parent helpers, not teachers.

Bryan, who used to run Marlow Wildlife Centre before retiring, said other shoppers had stopped and watched as the group of 15 or so primary school pupils scrabbled across the memorial last Tuesday.

"We weren't the only ones," he added. "There were other people standing there. There were comments from other people."

Mary, 69, spoke to the supervisor and warned her of the potentially dangerous situation and told her to get the children off the memorial.Bryan said: "When we said it was a memorial and it was in the churchyard she just looked shocked. She didn't say anything she was just totally gobsmacked that we'd gone up and mentioned it.

"She eventually took them away up the road again."

The dad-of-one added: "We're not old fogies, we were just so incensed about it. It was a war memorial, which is very sentimental to lots of people and they were just stepping over all the wreaths that had been put there.

"To see a teacher actually condoning it is terrible."

Pupils from Hamilton Primary School were on a day trip to the area at the time.

Sue Woolgar, Hamilton's headteacher, issued the following statement: "Our Year Four children are studying and comparing the similarities and differences between High Wycombe and Milton Keynes. As part of this study they visited High Wycombe town centre on Tuesday October 2, and I was surprised to hear of the alleged incident.

"I apologise for the reported behaviour of the Hamilton children, who were aged between eight and nine-years-old and working in small supervised groups. The matter is being thoroughly investigated with both children and their leaders.

"Our guidelines for our children's behaviour support the school's philosophy of respect in all areas. Students are expected to take responsibility for their behaviour in all circumstances and I am saddened that they appear to have forgotten on this occasion. Once our investigation is completed, we will ensure that the children involved gain a better understanding of the appropriateness of such behaviour, and its consequences".