A World War One memorial bench in St Albans, which depicts a group of soldiers advancing over barbed wire towards enemy lines, has been defaced with white paint in what the city's mayor called "a despicable act of vandalism".
The metal bench was bought by St Albans City and District Council last year and placed by the historic Verdun Tree near the cathedral. The tree grew from a conker taken from the only tree left standing in the battlefield of Verdun - one of the bloodiest clashes of the 1914-1918 conflict.
The bench has now been restored to its previous condition. The silhouettes of soldiers are known as Tommies.
St Albans Mayor, councillor Rosemary Farmer, said: "This was a truly despicable act of vandalism that I am both upset and outraged by."
"If anyone can shed any light on who is responsible, then I would urge them to contact the police immediately."