The community defying a vandal attack which wrecked their war memorial

Click above to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Rebecca Haworth

A new permanent war memorial area has been unveiled in a Northamptonshire town, after a previous display was vandalised during Remembrance Week.

Last year a statue of a soldier in Thrapston was vandalised just a few days after Remembrance Sunday. 

The memorial in Thrapston was vandalised in November last year

I was disappointed, then angry, I then went home, sat and just contemplated how someone could do such a thing, you know so for me, as a veteran, this place here means so much to us.

Matthew Ellmer, Veteran:
The vandalism- taking place so close to Remembrance Day- made national headlines

The story made national headlines - and it even caught the attention of the Prime Minister who wrote to the town council. 

Following the incident a fundraising campaign raised enough, not just to replace the statue, but also to create something permanent

The community was quick to respond- with donations pouring in. Almost £5,000 was donated, along with four statues. 

Initially the money was going to be raised to replace the silent soldier, that was what we really wanted to do, but we were so grateful to be given 4 free soldiers from local businesses and people so that left us with nearly five-thousand pounds to spend on something else. With a lot of conversation with the council, we've made a wonderful, really striking permanent memorial now.

Sophie Starsmore, Fundraiser:

The names on the memorial are not just from the First and Second World Wars but also from the Iraq War. 

Even through the difficult and darkness of Covid, and then on top of that to have something vandalised like this, that really hurt. But actually as in life generally, it's how you respond, and because we've responded in that amazing and positive way, we've been able to achieve this installation.

Cllr Karen Draycott, Mayor of Thrapston

A man has been charged over the incident and is due in court later this year.