Mindless vandals have damaged a Dearne war memorial, just days before Remembrance Sunday.
The callous thugs caused ‘significant damage’ to the brickwork of the Sisters’ Lychgate memorial in Creighton Woods, Swinton, which commemorates local residents who served in the First and Second World Wars.
Swinton Coun Ken Wyatt, who discovered the vandalism last Thursday morning, said: “It was quite significant damage. The brickwork has been pushed in.
“I was very sorry to see the damage because it’s such an important local landmark. It is well-known in Swinton and it features in the town’s crest.
“I don’t know when this happened, but I spoke to a lady who said she walks there every day and she said she had not seen anything the previous morning.
“It’s such a shame – especially because we are in that time of year now when we are thinking about remembrance. It makes this extra poignant.
“I’m not aware that there has been any damage to the memorial before.”
The Lychgate has been at the entrance to the woods since they first opened to the public in the 1940s.
It was designed by the council’s surveyor, Harold Goodwin, and was a gift from Enid and Beatrice Harrop.
Local residents are also shocked at the damage.
On Facebook, Hannah Louise Schofield said: “That’s a disgrace, hope they can repair it.”
Coun Wyatt said: “A contractor from Rotherham Council has been to look at the damage and has said that the memorial can be repaired.
“There is a slight problem because the original brickwork, which is rustic brick, was put in when it was first built in the 1940s.
“That type of brick is not around anymore so it might have to be repaired in stone, but I am told that the plaques can be reset in to the new brick work and it would look the same.
Rotherham Council’s countryside green spaces manager Kevin Burke said he had made the area safe while an investigation is carried out and quotes are obtained to repair the structure.
He said: “The gate is an important feature in Swinton and we will work hard to ensure it is restored.”
Contact the police on 101 or Rotherham Council on 01709 336003 if you have any information.