Theft of Tidworth war memorial statue 'disrespectful'

The theft of a bronze war memorial in the garrison town of Tidworth has been described as "disrespectful".

The "one-off" statue, which was commissioned for the Wiltshire town, was taken by two men on 17 October.

Ann Green, the secretary of the Royal British Legion in Tidworth, said it was "unbelievable that somebody could do that knowing it is a war memorial".

Police said the two men they were hunting for drove away from the scene in a light-coloured vehicle.

Sgt Mark Freeman of Wiltshire Police said the statue was worth £10,000 "but its actual worth to the community is much more as a war memorial".

'No thought'

Ms Green said the statue, in the image of a World War II soldier, had been made 12 years ago as the town did not have a permanent memorial.

She added that it "would not have come into the minds" of the thieves that the theft came less than a month before Remembrance Sunday.

"I don't think that they gave it thought. They knew it was bronze and knew it was valuable."

This year, she said the Remembrance Parade would still take place near where the memorial was.

"We'll just have to do something with the poppies," she said.

The statue was insured for the value it was bought at but Ms Green said it was unlikely the statue would be replaced in bronze as the value of the metal had risen too much.

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