A CHARITABLE Gazette reader, who read of a vandalised war memorial in last week’s paper, has stepped forward to offer to fix it free of charge.

David Priest, who works as a precision machinist and volunteers fixing steam engines on the Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line, is well placed to repair the damaged memorial in Sherfield-on-Loddon.

As reported, thieves targeted the memorial some time before Thursday, January 30, and attempted to rip a large bronze sword from its fixings, causing extensive damage.

Mr Priest, 43, said: “I was just so angry when I read about what had happened.

“It is absolutely disgusting – these people obviously have no regard for the memory of all the people who gave their lives for this country.

“I wanted to do something to help and I would be more than happy to repair the memorial myself.

“I have a lot of experience, and all the equipment we could possibly need at the Watercress Line.

“Hopefully, it will save the parish council a few hundred pounds as well – it shouldn’t be something they should have to pay for.”

Parish council chairman Alan Ball said the offer was “very kind” and added he would be in touch with Mr Priest.

He said: “We have had one quote so far, but that was for a few hundred pounds, and it would be fantastic if we could have it repaired for free. It is a very kind offer.”

Mr Priest said that the work would probably take a couple of days to complete.

He said: “It should be possible to make it look as if nothing happened – there is a special acid we can use which makes the bronze look weathered.”