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Vandal targets memorial to men of the former Royal East Kent Regiment in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury

By Aidan Barlow

A vandal who sprayed graffiti onto a regiment war memorial just a day before Remembrance Sunday has been condemned as a "mindless idiot" by Royal British Legion volunteers.

The poppy shaped graffiti, accompanied by the tag "Sold’Ya" was scrawled on both sides of a monument in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury.

The monument paid tribute to members of the former Royal East Kent Regiment, the Buffs, who fell during the First World War.

The vandal sprayed the poppy logo and the tag SOLD'YA

The vandal sprayed the poppy logo and the tag SOLD'YA

The regiment was amalgamated with Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment in 1961.

Retired Colonel Peter Bishop, a veteran of the former East Kent regiment from service in Aden in 1958 and President of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Association was outraged.

He said: “It’s an absolute disgrace, particularly in this year of the centenary of the First World War.

Retired Colonel Peter Bishop laying a wreath in 2012

Retired Colonel Peter Bishop laying a wreath in 2012

"Whoever did this clearly doesn’t realise a lot of people have given their lives so he can live in freedom.

“It beggars belief. It costs time and money to put these things right - it is a mindless act.”

He was joined in his criticism by Canterbury Royal British Legion Chairman Tim Woods who said: “What I would say can’t be written down. It is disgusting that someone could even think about this, let alone do it.

Tim Woods, chairman of Canterbury Royal British Legion

Tim Woods, chairman of Canterbury Royal British Legion

“It’s not glorifying the dead, the memorial is a commemoration of their sacrifice.”

The site was given as a gift to Canterbury City Council to maintain following the amalgamation of the two regiments in 1961.

It had been made ready by contractors Serco, whose workers were horrified to find their hard work had been undone.

Fortunately, they cleared the paint before the Remembrance Sunday services today.

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