A statue of a 'Tommy' in Ponteland was vandalised a night before the Remembrance Day service at the memorial hall.

The incident is said to have happened overnight and the damage was discovered on the morning of Remembrance Day.

The black silhouette of the 'Tommy' soldier with a plate that said 'Lest we forget', was later taken down after the Remembrance Day parade.

Speaking about the incident, chairman of the Ponteland Memorial Hall, Robin Ramsay said: "We are unsure of when it happened but it must have been done overnight.

"I left the Hall around 5pm and there was no damage to either of the statues.

"Even on the morning we did not know about what had happened.

"We only knew about the damage when someone spotted early in the morning on November 14, which was before the parade.

"I think it is disgraceful that this has happened.

"Especially as it was done on the day of the Remembrance Sunday service – which is disrespectful.

"The statue damaged was a part of a display with another and they have been there for two years and nothing has happened to them – until now.

"It looks beyond repair as it was snapped in two at the base. We have passed it on to fellow committee member David, who will have a look at what needs to be done."

The statue has now been taken down for initial inspection and for the committee members to contemplate the next steps.

In charge of trying to repair the statue is David Goodchild who said: "The statue was supported on two rods, which look like someone has tried to heave them out of the ground.

"It's going to be difficult to replace the bottom plate, but for the poles we need a new ones.

"Thankfully I have found someone who can cut a new soldier shape, but I am looking to see how to fix the plate at the bottom."

The Ponteland Memorial Hall has passed on CCTV images to the police and is to put in a formal incident claim at a later date.