UPDATE 16.40: New Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial to servicemen killed in action vandalised four days after unveiling

A 13-year-old girl is being questioned by police after a new war memorial to the memory of men and women from Mansfield who have been killed in action since the end of WWII was vandalised less than a week after being blessed and opened.

Police said on Thursday afternoon that no-one has been arrested and police enquiries are continuing.

Trustees of the Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial Fund, the charity which built the memorial through public donations, are offering a reward leading to the prosecution of any of the six people who wrote their names on the memorial wall.

“This act of total disrespect for the families of the men named on the wall and for the sacrifice the men paid is utterly disgusting and sickening. Only last weekend families of all seven men killed in action while serving their country stood proudly with hundreds of others from Mansfield to pay their respects.

“The ignorance of these vandals beggars belief; as does their stupidity in writing their own names. There cannot be many groups of friends with the same names so we are calling on the public to come forward and name them.

“Mansfield District Council has already said it will issue Fixed Penalty Notices to anyone identified of this vile vandalism This cannot be tolerated which is why we are offering a reward for the identification and prosecution of the six people,” said a Heroes Fund spokesman.

Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial was built using money raised by the people of Mansfield and has received praise from many quarters, with Col Keith Seddon of the Mercian Regiment saying it is something the whole of which the whole of Mansfield should be proud. The opening ceremony, on Armed Services Day, was attended by representatives from all three armed services, the

Merchant Navy and six different regiments along with several hundred members of the public.

The vandals also drew a cross and ‘RIP’ slogan on the wall. “We hope that the six will feel enough shame to step forward and apologise but if they don’t and we find out who they are, then we will certainly pass the names on to the police,” said a Heroes Fund spokesman.