THE “low-life” who desecrated a war memorial in Witney should be sent out to serve in Afghanistan, an Army veteran has said.

A pillar surrounding the war memorial, in Church Green, was kicked over and irreparably broken earlier this week.

Witney Town Council said stonemasons would be brought in to replace the pillar but did not yet know how much it would cost.

Police are investigating the vandalism and are reviewing CCTV footage and a muddy shoe print found on another pillar.

No arrests have yet been made.

Oxfordshire Royal British Legion chairman Jim Lewendon said: “I cannot believe where these people are coming from that do this sort of thing.

“It is the lowest of the low who desecrate a war memorial.

“It means a lot to people like me and it represents the lives that were laid down so young people can lead the lives they live.”

Mr Lewendon, who served with the Royal Artillery, said: “I really hope they catch whoever did this.

“It is a pity the person cannot be sent out to Afghanistan to see what our lads are doing out there to protect us.”

Witney's mayor Harry Eaglestone said: “I am in absolute disbelief. It just show a complete disregard for what the war memorial represents.”

The attack is the second incident of vandalism at a war memorial in the town in recent weeks. Parkland at The Leys was churned up by cars being driven across the grass at the start of last month.

The area was bought by town residents in 1920 to provide a lasting memorial to locals killed serving the country during the First World War. 

Police said the damage occurred between Tuesday and Wednesday. Officers have conducted house-to-house inquiries to try to find witnesses.

Insp Louise Roddy, of Wintey police, said: “If this was a deliberate act, it was a despicable thing to do to a monument honouring our local war heroes.”

Anyone with information should call Witney police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The town council is due to discuss raising the precept to create a £150,000 pot for capital projects, including refurbishing the war memorial, on Monday.