Mystery of second plaque theft

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Village hall leaders have had to pay out for a new war memorial after theirs was stolen for a second time.

When the original 83-year-old bronze plaque was ripped from the front of Samlesbury Memorial Hall in Cuerdale Lane in December 2006, villagers replaced it with a plastic version, displaying the names of 13 men who perished in the First World War.

At its unveiling, a committee member described it as “not worth pinching”.

But, in the run-up to the centenary of the Great War, the plaque has once again been stolen, and members have had to stump up cash for a third, once again made of plastic.

Hall trustee Teresa Taylor said: “When the original plaque was stolen a few years ago we tried scrapyards and all over, but never found it.

“We eventually had a bronze replica made, which was put inside the hall for safekeeping. The plastic plaque was made for the outside of the building and had no monetary value.

“It’s very strange why someone should decide to steal something like that, but with these type of architectural thefts, I’m not sure that they know what they’re stealing.

“They would have known straight away that it wasn’t made of metal, it was very light.”

She added: “We’ve had to pay for the new plaque out of our own pockets. It wasn’t very expensive, but it’s not the point.”

Lancashire Constabulary said they were not made aware of the crime, which happened late last year.

One of the men listed on the plaque, Sgt William J Daley, was awarded a posthumous military medal for gallantry after risking his life to save a wounded comrade.

The original plaque was unveiled in November 1923 by thr he young son of another one of the men listed, Pt Herbert Mason.”