VETERANS have appealed for help after two historic stone lintels vanished from the old Cowley Barracks after they were demolished for 674 student rooms.

The stone lintels – above two entrances to the barracks – bore the names of Napier and Moore, two legendary figures in the history of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

Lord Napier commanded the 50th Queen’s Own Regiment of Foot during the Peninsular War against Napoleon and died in 1853, while Sir John Moore was a hero in the Battle of Corunna in Spain and died in 1809.

BT, which owns the site, promised to preserve the stones and return them to then be relocated elsewhere.

But after the two blocks, used as offices in recent years, were demolished last year to make space for 674 student rooms, the stones' whereabouts are unknown.

The president of the Royal Green Jackets Association (RGJA) Robin Draper said he was 'extremely disappointed' the stones had vanished.

He said: "It is a disappointment to the regiment that these historic stones have vanished and I hope anyone who knows of their whereabouts could help restore them to the regiment.

Mr Draper, from Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon, added that the stone lintels could not have just been stolen on a whim due to their weight but said the regiment and BT 'had no idea' where they were.

The Hollow Way site was the regimental barracks and training ground from the late 1876 until the Ox and Bucks left in 1959 shortly after becoming the Royal Green Jackets.

Veteran Roy Bailey, who fought with the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry in Cyprus in the 1950s and visited the site for an emotional farewell in October 2015, said the stones were important to keep hold of after the regiment lost out on an iconic clock at the barracks.

He said: "It's a great shame the stone lintels have disappeared – it wasn't decided what would happen to them but there was talk of them being moved to the Edward Brooks Barracks in Abingdon.

"A number of us visited the site for one final time in October 2015. We wanted a gold and green clock above the Moore block to be given to the regiment, but it was sold on.

"But it was agreed that we would have the stone lintels, so we need to get them back."

Discussions for permanent recognition of the site's history in the new development are believed to be ongoing between the RGJA, Oxford City Council and BT.

It is hoped new streets into the development could be named after Lord Napier and Sir John Moore. City council leader Bob Price has previously called for a permanent memorial to be included.

BT failed to respond to a request for comment.