Snapped Silent Soldier in Ludlow 21118 CREDIT Andy Boddington

Tributes To WWI Soldiers 'Vandalised'

Local residents believe that two 'shadow soldiers' made of wood have been deliberately snapped in half.

Snapped Silent Soldier in Ludlow 21118 CREDIT Andy Boddington

The damaged soldier silhouette on Parys Road, Ludlow (Picture: Andy Boddington). 

Two 'shadow soldier' figures in Shropshire commemorating those who gave their lives in the First World War have been vandalised, locals believe. 

Plywood shadow soldiers appeared around Ludlow before Remembrance Sunday as a reminder of the 143 men from the town who died in the conflict.

Each has been hand-made by town Councillor Graeme Perks and painted by Robert Bradley, whose great uncle was among the town's fallen soldiers.

The process of creating each soldier takes three hours, and the figures have been sold to raise money for the town's war memorials committee.

World War One silhouette Scottish Parliament
Sterner stuff: this silhouette statue of a Great War soldier outside the Scottish Parliament is made of aluminium.

Two were snapped in half in the run-up to Remembrance Day and, at first, residents thought it was just strong winds to blame.

However, after the second one was also damaged, many have concluded that local vandals are the cause. 

Writing on his blog, local councillor Andy Boddington, wrote:

"Last night, winds did not get above six kilometres per hour, that's not enough to ruffle your hair let alone to snap a silent soldier."

"Anti-social behaviour on a weekend night along Parys Road is not unusual," he continued. 

"Discarded chip cartons, pizza boxes, even McDonalds boxes and beakers. And on most Sunday mornings a couple of heaps of vomit. 

"I don’t believe for one moment this soldier was felled by the wind. It was an act of mindless and disrespectful vandalism."

Pub landlord Gary Seymour told The Shropshire Star: "I've had a couple of people say it could be the wind but I don't see how it could be."

A spokesperson for the town council described the damage as "a thoughtless and careless act".