A VANDALISED memorial to a First World War soldier will be repaired and put back in place for Remembrance Sunday.

The damaged ‘There But Not There’ Tommy tribute to the Fallen has been removed from its place of pride outside Farnworth library.

It will be repaired and put back before Sunday, the Royal British Legion has been promised.

There was outrage when the artwork, one of five put in place across Bolton, was discovered vandalised in the early hours of Sunday.

Residents lambasted the “mindless” and “devastating” act of violence that left the model of a First World War soldier bent backwards.

Former soldier, Fred Pollitt, called The Bolton News in tears to say he would like to meet the culprit.

The 93-year-old who served with the Royal Engineers said: “I would like if I could to take whoever was responsible for this, to get hold of him, put him on a bus and take him to Bayeux Cemetery in Normandy. He would see the graves of the soldiers who died in the Second World War.”

“But I don’t blame him. It is his parents, his grandparents and his great-grandparents.”

Mr Pollitt was a driver who landed in Normandy 10 days after D-Day and served all over Europe, finally leaving Germany in 1947. Farnworth Royal British Legion branch president, former mayor and councillor, Noel Spencer, went to see the site of the vandalism himself. He said: “It has been taken away for repair and it will be replaced before Remembrance Sunday.”

“This vandalism really is shocking.”

The Tommy memorial was put in place as part of the Remembered charity’s There But Not There campaign. Bolton Council spent £4,000 to have the statues installed across the borough and asked residents to tell them where they would like to have them placed.

Cllr Jean Gillies said the Farnworth installation had been deliberately placed on a site near to the main road to avoid damage in the park.

She said: “It’s no wonder we struggle to keep things nice in Farnworth or attempt to make a change when this sort of behaviour is taking place.

“These people have absolutely no respect for their town, their community, or the dead.”