A VANDAL scrawled graffiti on a war memorial honouring Portsmouth troops and civilians who died during the Second World War.
Jean Louth has been fundraising for 23 years to pay for the wall of names near Guildhall Square and was horrified to discover it had been defaced.
The 78-year-old lost her father in Dunkirk in 1941 and has been the driving force behind the News-backed campaign for the memorial since 1989.
She was overjoyed when the first 600 names were added this year, but yesterday was shocked that anyone could show so little respect to those who lost their lives.
She said: ‘It is absolutely disgraceful and disgusting when people go and do things like that.
‘Somebody said to me just the other day how nice it was that none of our war memorials have been vandalised. But this is just awful.
‘These people have no sense of respect of what these people did for them.
‘It is only because of the people remembered on this wall that whoever did this enjoys the freedom they do.
‘They need a good slap on the wrist and they should be made to clean it up.
‘I just can’t understand what they were thinking.’
The leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said the culprit should be ashamed of themselves.
‘It’s very sad when anybody writes graffiti on war memorials,’ he said.
‘They need to understand how important it is for people who lost family in the war to treat them with respect.
‘This is why they council will always clean them up as quickly as possible.’
The graffiti was scrawled in black marker pen and read ‘hello i’m Brandon’ but has now been cleaned off.
A city council spokeswoman said its workers carrying out routine maintenance quickly removed the vandalism from the memorial.
Jean added that there is still fundraising left to go to add the names of the remaining 2,400 local men, women and children who lost their lives during the Second World War.
Donations should be made to Portsmouth’s World War Two Memorial Fund, 194 Wakefords Way, West Leigh, Havant, PO9 5QD.
People can also contact the city council directly.