VANDALS tore off the heads of Royal British Legion silhouettes of a soldier and nurse at Sway in an act that has outraged villagers.
The figures, installed at Jubilee Field to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, were targeted over the weekend and must now be discarded.
One villager, who wishes to remain anonymous, is so angered they have offered a £100 reward for information leading to the capture of the perpetrators.
“It’s upsetting for everybody,” parish clerk Katie Walding told the A&T. “I cannot imagine anybody sensible doing such a thing. I can only assume it was kids having what they think is a laugh.
“The councillors are pretty upset, angry and disappointed in whoever feels that this is a good thing to do. It’s disappointing for Sway as we put a huge effort into this year’s Remembrance service as a whole.”
The silhouettes were discovered damaged on Monday morning by Cllr Len Thomas. “I just wish it hadn’t happened,” he said.
Cllr Thomas said he had been buoyed by the police response when he reported the matter. “We have had complaints recently about the police and incidents in the village, but in this case they were very, very good,” he told the A&T. “So some good does come out of bad.”
Near life-size structures from the Royal British Legion, the Silent Soldiers are plastic figures which depict a Tommy, a suffragette, nurse, airman, sailor, Commonwealth soldier or munitions factory worker.
The vandalism aroused strong feelings on Facebook when photos of the damage were posted onto the Sway Newswire page.
One poster was “appalled”, another simply said “scum”, and a third said: “I am disgusted the morons that have done this are apparently living in our community. Please name and shame.”
Simon Hemsley added: “As a former soldier and a resident of Sway I really want to know who has committed this disgraceful act.”
Anyone with information should call Hampshire police on 101, quoting 44180442314.