Tommy statue marking 100th anniversary of World War One damaged by 'mindless' vandals

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 February 2019

Tommy statue. Picture: Remembered/Martin Barraud

Tommy statue. Picture: Remembered/Martin Barraud

Remembered/Martin Barraud

‘Mindless’ vandals have damaged a £750 soldier statue on Clevedon seafront.

The outline of a World War One Tommy has been removed from its coastal backdrop after it was damaged at the base.

Clevedon Town Council is looking at the costs of the statue’s repair after councillors were shocked to discover the metal structure had been snapped clean from its base.

The council approved the purchase of the two Tommy statues – costing £750 each – in time for the centenary of World War One last November.

They were placed on the seafront and in Queens Square to act as a reminder of the 114 men who served during the ‘war to end all wars’.

Council chairman Judith West told the Times: “It is a very sad state of affairs that someone would do this.

“The statues are there for a reason.

“We debated it long and hard at the town council about whether to put the funds aside to buy the two statues. Councillors went and looked at the spots to place them and the Tommies themselves.

“It wasn’t a random thought but done on purpose.

“The remembrance service was held in the square with the other statue. For the older residents of Clevedon, it was a very poignant moment.”

The 6ft sculpture was purchased from the There But Not There campaign from the charity Remembered.

Profits made from the sales of these Tommies, which are built by ex-servicemen and women, goes to mental health and armed forces charities.

It is believe around 5,000 troops travelled through Clevedon, which was a station post during World War One, and many were from the town or nearby areas.

Cllr West said the vandals had damaged the statue at the base where they had seemingly tried to lift it off.

She added: “At the moment, the damage is being assessed and we are looking at different costs of the repair. We hope to have them ready to stand on duty for next year’s Armistice.

“We are very disappointed this has happened and wish to know who the mindless vandals are behind it.”

It was always the town council’s plan to remove the statues after Remembrance Day and store them safely for next year.

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