Vandals have attacked Lancashire’s newest war memorial just over a month after it was unveiled.
Poppy wreaths and crosses planted by local schoolchildren to honour the 14 Hutton villagers killed in conflict were picked up and thrown into a nearby pond.
Heavy tubs containing the crosses were carried 50 yards and tossed into the water. And three-tier street planters outside shops close by were toppled in the late night strike.
“I’m absolutely devastated by such mindless vandalism,” said Coun Tom Hastewell, chairman of the Hutton Parish Council. “To think people can desecrate a war memorial like this is sickening.
“When I got there early on Friday morning the place looked like a bomb site. There was soil and plants scattered halfway across the road and a trail of sand leading from the war memorial to the edge of the pond where the tubs had been lifted up and thrown in.”
The attack was discovered by a villager at around 2am on Friday. Police have since carried out door-to-door enquiries in an attempt to trace anyone who may have witnessed the damage being done.
One “shocked” villager said: “To do so much damage must have taken between 20 and 30 minutes.
“I know that the type of people who carry out these mindless attacks do not have a brain, but this war memorial and the planters were paid for by the council tax payers of Hutton.”
The 1.9 tonne granite memorial was only unveiled on Remembrance Day last month.
It contains the names of 14 war dead from Hutton - each one commemorated at the service with a cross planted by pupils of Hutton Church of England Grammar School and Ashbridge Independent School.