FLYTIPPERS are being hunted after bags of rubbish and a soiled mattress were dumped blocking access to a graveyard.

They were strewn across the path to the Portland Royal Naval Cemetery, where wartime hero Jack Mantle is buried.

The rubbish was reported to the Dorset Waste Partnership by Dorset Police and residents on Portland.

As it is a public access area, the partnership cleared up the mess.

It is now calling on residents to report any information about the incident, so that the offenders can be brought to justice.

Martin Mowlem visits the graveyard regularly to pay his respects to a number of friends who served in the Armed Forces.

He said he was pleased that the rubbish had been cleared but thought it was ‘disgusting’ it had been dumped in the first place.

Mr Mowlem added: “I have got three old shipmates buried in that cemetery, and I go there regularly just to pay my respects and have a chat.

“The main feature is of course the grave of Jack Mantle, which I consider sacrosanct.

“Whoever has done this does not understand. This is our history.”

Jack Mantle was killed aged just 23 in an attack on HMS Foylebank.

The surprise German raid when the ship was anchored off Portland on June 4, 1940 went down as one of the most infamous of the Second World War.

Jack Mantle was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after he continued to fight despite suffering appalling injuries.

A spokesman for Dorset Waste Partnership said people should report fly-tipping to them via the Dorset For You website.

He said: “We’d urge anyone that sees fly tipping to report it to us.

“It is a crime and it’s important it’s reported.

“If anyone has any information that could help identify the people responsible we are interested in hearing from them in order to take enforcement action.”