"We are heartbroken": Thrapston war memorial damaged by vandals

The community is fundraising to repair the memorial

Criminals have damaged Thrapston's war memorial. Photo by Thrapston Town Council
Criminals have damaged Thrapston's war memorial. Photo by Thrapston Town Council

Thrapston's war memorial has been damaged by vandals overnight.

The town's council shared the news of the shocking crime, just days after Remembrance Day, on its Facebook page.

Thrapston Town Council said: "We are heartbroken to find that the silent soldier who stands over Thrapston's War Memorial has been irreparably damaged. 2020 marks 75 years since the end of WWII and 100 years since the Peace Park was dedicated to our town after the first World War.

"This week we have thanked those who have sacrificed so much through a series of Remembrance events.

"Last night (November 12 to 13) Thrapston experienced acts of vandalism; if you have any information please report it to police."

Photos show the silhouette of the silent soldier has been snapped, flower beds have been ripped up with soil and plants thrown over the ground.

The soldier was part of the Royal British Legion Silent Soldier campaign to represent the thousands of servicemen who walked across the country's fields and hills on their way back from The Great War.

Plants were ripped out and thrown over the street. Photo by Thrapston Town Council

The soldier was added to the Thrapston war memorial in 2018 to mark 100 years since the end of the war.

The incident has been reported to the police and a Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: "An investigation into this incident in Oundle Road, Thrapston, was launched after police officers saw photos on social media of the vandalised war memorial.

"Since then, we have received calls from the local community reporting this incident to us and we want to assure them that officers are already in the town conducting enquiries, including establishing what CCTV is available that may assist our investigation.

"This is clearly a very upsetting incident for the town of Thrapston and we are doing all we can to track down the offenders. Officers will be patrolling in the town over the weekend to show a visible presence and to reassure the community."

The incident has shocked the community. Photo by Thrapston Town Council

The shocking incident has been condemned online. Corby and East Northamptonshire's MP, Tom Pursglove, said: "Shocked, livid, furious, doesn’t even begin to cut it – and on the very week we all came together as a community and as a country to remember our brave men and women.

"It goes without saying I’m raising this urgently with the police. I'm staggered, frankly – lost for words."

The community is rallying to repair its memorial and a fundraiser set up by Sophie Starsmore has already raised more than £2,000 already.

Tom Pursglove MP said: "Often, moments of adversity bring out the very best in others. I am heartened to see so many members of our community stepping up to offer help, raising over £2000 in 2.5hrs on the GoFundMe page to restore the Thrapston memorial.

"I am always proud of our community, but I am particularly proud of this typically big-hearted response today."

The shocking crime follows an incident in Corby just over a month ago when criminals sprayed expletives over the war memorial.Northamptonshire Police said: "Anyone who has any information or anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area overnight from November 12 into November 13, is encouraged to contact us on 101 quoting incident number 99 of 13/11/20."