A memorial erected in Derbyshire, UK, just days after the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore has been vandalised with IRA graffiti causing outrage among locals.
The silhouette sculpture of the 100 year old who died in February was erected after he raised tens of millions of pounds for the NHS during the first 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.
Anthony Ball, chairman of the Dove Valley Community Project which manages the park where the memorial is located, said he discovered the damage on Wednesday December 29th.
"What I don't understand is that you've got a small memorial remembering those who lost their lives, and a Tommy [from the Royal British Legion],”he told Derbyshire Live.
“Why did they spray Captain Tom? What has he got to do with the IRA?”
"I was nearly physically sick when I saw it,” he continued.
“Every day I do my walk, I walked around the corner, and I looked at it and was nearly physically sick. I touched it with my hand thinking it was something that would just wipe off, and it was spray paint.”
"I could almost understand if someone sprayed a war memorial or a soldier, but not Captain Tom walking down the street.”
He told the publication he got a bin bag to cover the memorial as he “couldn’t leave” it on show as it was, and warned vandals against damaging it again.
"If you continue to paint him, we will clean it off. If you damage him, we have the resources to repair him. If you remove him, we will have a new one put in his place.”
"By continuing your actions you are greatly increasing our chances of catching you. Sir Tom is now all cleaned up and continuing to lift the spirits of all those that need him during these times."
The memorial has since been repaired by the engineering firm who installed the monument, and the incident was not reported to police.
Captain Tom, served in the British Army during the Second World War.
He shot to fame in 2020 after raising over £30m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his care home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.
On his 100th birthday, the former officer received over 150,000 birthday cards.
He was also appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College before he was personally knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle.
He died in February 2021 after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia before he tested positive for Covid-19.