THIEVES have targeted a war memorial in Sherfield-on-Loddon – attempting to rip a large bronze sword from the fixings.

Villager Brian Jenkins, a former Wing Commander in the RAF who served for nearly 30 years, said it was shocking that the memorial, engraved with the names of local soldiers who lost their lives in the World Wars, has been targeted.

He said: “One wonders about the motive. Is it by some twisted person who does not want us to remember those people who laid down their lives for this country? I hope not.

“It could be that they were trying to steal the metal to sell on, but then why target a war memorial? It is heartless.”

The extensive damage was caused to the memorial some time prior to Thursday, January 30, when locals first spotted what had happened.

Parish council chairman Councillor Alan Ball said: “It’s just awful. We will make sure that it is repaired but we don’t know how much it will cost or how long that will take.”

Anyone with any information about the incident or who saw someone acting suspiciously near the memorial is asked to contact PCSO James Rickaby on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.