A St Albans World War One memorial bench was defaced in “a despicable act of vandalism.”
White painting, as pictured above, was sprayed on the steel design, to picture a group of “Tommies” advancing over barbed wire towards enemy lines.
Daubed onto the two largest figures, the graffiti appears to spell out the words Lear fM – it is not yet understood what the letters stand for.
The metal bench was bought by St Albans City and District Council last year as part of the commemorations to mark the centenary of the Great War’s end on 11 November 1918.
The pain has since been cleaned off by the parks contractor.
The bench was positioned in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday last year by the historic Verdun Tree in Waxhouse Gate, near the Cathedral, to provide a quiet place for reflection
The Verdun Tree grew from a conker taken from the only tree left standing in the battlefield of Verdun, one of the bloodiest clashes of the First World War.
St Albans Mayor, Councillor Rosemary Farmer, who led the District’s Remembrance Sunday events, said: “This was a truly despicable act of vandalism that I am both upset and outraged by.
“I am furious – and I am sure the whole community will be as well – that someone could deface it in this way.”
St Albans chief inspector, Lynda Coates, said: “As part of our enquiries we are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident, which happened over the weekend of January 19 and 20.”