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Tribute to soldiers who lost lives in First World War to be removed after spate of vandalism

‘Silent soldiers’ put up around the borough to mark the sacrifice of those who did not come home alive from the First World War are being removed after a spate of vandalism.

The silhouettes of soldiers were placed around the borough on buildings, in parks, gardens, roundabouts and many other places. The project was the idea of the Royal British Legion in Surrey and supported by Sutton Council thanks to funding provided through its local committees.

The original intention was to leave the silhouettes up throughout 2018, which marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

But with several of the Silent Soldier silhouettes vandalised or stolen, the decision has now been taken to remove them. Police are working closely with the council to examine CCTV footage in a bid to identify those responsible.

Cllr Simon Wales, lead member for local committees and the voluntary sector, said: “This was a wonderful and fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War and to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“It is extremely sad that the senseless actions of a few have forced us to take the silhouettes down. We will make a decision next year on whether to reinstate them. I urge anyone with information to contact police.”