Graffiti vandals have targeted a memorial silhouette honouring the late Captain Sir Tom Moore by spraying ‘IRA’ onto the life-sized sculpture in white paint.

The memorial was erected at a nature reserve in Hatton, Derbyshire, two days after the war veteran died at the age of 100 in February earlier this year.

The graffiti, spotted by a member of the public walking around the nature reserve, was covered up within hours and Derbyshire Police is now appealing for information. 

Anthony Ball, chairman of the Dove Valley Community Project, said he felt ‘physically sick’ when he made the discovery.

He added: ‘I was on a walk around the meadow when I saw it – it made me feel physically sick.’

‘I had to go back home and fetch a bin bag to put on him. I couldn’t let people see him with that graffiti on, it’s not nice.

‘I hope they’re pleased with themselves, it’s beyond belief.’

Vandals used white paint to spray 'IRA' on a memorial silhouette honouring war veteran and NHS fundraised Captain Sir Tom Moore

Vandals used white paint to spray 'IRA' on a memorial silhouette honouring war veteran and NHS fundraised Captain Sir Tom Moore

Vandals used white paint to spray ‘IRA’ on a memorial silhouette honouring war veteran and NHS fundraised Captain Sir Tom Moore

Sir Tom raised nearly £40million for the NHS and captured the nation's hearts during the first Covid lockdown last year

Sir Tom raised nearly £40million for the NHS and captured the nation's hearts during the first Covid lockdown last year

Sir Tom raised nearly £40million for the NHS and captured the nation’s hearts during the first Covid lockdown last year

Mr Ball believes the incident took place overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Sir Tom raised almost £40 million for NHS charities and captured the nation’s hearts by walking around his garden in the first lockdown.

The former British Army officer, who died after contracting pneumonia and coronavirus, was knighted by The Queen for his efforts. 

The life-sized silhouette memorial was created by AGC Fabrications, a company which previously donated a soldier statue to replace a war memorial that had been stolen from the same Derbyshire village.  

Austin Cox, from the firm, said: ‘I would like to say how disgusted the team are by the actions of a mindless person.

‘Sir Tom was a inspiration to us all during the beginning of the pandemic, and to see the disrespect by someone on our take of a memorial for him upsets us all and the community.

‘We would like the culprit to know that we have the resources to repaint, repair or replace Sir Tom and we will continue to do so.’

Derbyshire Police is appealing for information and has asked the public to contact them with the crime reference 336-291221.

The family of Sir Tom said earlier this month they wish to set up an annual day in his honour in a bid to create a ‘Children in Need for older people’.

The plan for a Captain Tom Day, which could be launched next June, would help ‘revolutionise the way society thinks about ageing’.

Money raised through the event will be channelled into tackling loneliness and isolation among the elderly.

Source: Daily Mail

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