Members of the Royal British Legion in Selsey were left sickened after their local war memorial was trashed by mindless vandals.
President of the Selsey branch of the legion Adrian Wilson was horror-struck when he passed the memorial at High Street, only to find wreaths in disarray and badly damaged.
Two earth-filled troughs, filled with small wooden crosses and bearing the names of departed loved ones, were also overturned – and one of them was smashed.
Mr Wilson said he was just so angry at the sight of it all.
“I reach out to any member of the public who has any information whatsoever about the mindless cretins who did this damage to get in touch with the police without delay,” he said.
“How sad it is to think that those vandals are only living in a society which allows them such freedom of action because of all those young men of Selsey, whose names are inscribed on that memorial, who actually gave their lives to guarantee them that freedom.”
Mr Wilson straightened out the wreaths and replaced one of the troughs with a large plastic one, after the vandal attack on December 2.
Mr Wilson added: “I cleaned and rearranged the wreaths although to my disgust the Royal British Legion one, which I had so solemnly laid there on Remembrance Sunday, had been badly damaged.
“It took me an hour to repair it as best I could.”
Selsey district and town councillor Fred Robertson said: “It is tragic. I have lived here for 40 years and never has this happened before to my knowledge. It is a sign of the times.
“I am disgusted as anybody, there is no social responsibility.”
The Selsey war memorial lies on the perimeters of St Peter’s Church. It contains 57 names from the first world war, and there are three burials in the churchyard of which two are not included on the memorial.
The names for WWII, of which there were 40, have yet to be transcribed on to the memorial. There is also one name for Korea.
Police have said they have no knowledge of the vandal attack on the memorial, but would urge anyone with information to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.
The contact number for the Selsey Royal British Legion is 01243 602063.