A SILHOUETTE of a soldier has been beheaded in Amesbury.

Signs shaped as soldiers were placed in various spots around Amesbury as part of Armistice commemorations last month, but the head of one was removed last night (December 11).

The figure was stationed near Amesbury's central car park by the Stonehenge Chamber of Trade, and chairman Vicky Parks described the incident as a "horrendous act of vadalism".

She added: "The soldier was purchased by the members of the Stonehenge Chamber of Trade to support The Royal British Legion's Campaign.

"It was bought to honour the British troops who fought and died in the First World War 100 years ago who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country and returned silently or not at all.

"It's highly disappointing that this iconic symbol has been treated with such disrespect due to what it represents and the close ties that the town has with the military community both past and present."

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Former mayor of Amesbury and business man, Andy Rhind- Tutt said the vandalism of the tribute is "heartbreaking and disrespectful", adding: “Amesbury holds a very special connection with the military community and played a significant role during the two last world wars.

"I can only hope the person responsible is identified, brought to justice and perhaps asked to spend a few days with the army to appreciate what our ancestors did for us.”

Before the incident Amesbury Town Council had already removed its two soldiers for safekeeping until next year's Armistice events.

The town clerk, Wendy Bown said: "The council is appalled by the mindless destruction of the Stonehenge Chamber of Trade’s silent soldier that was positioned in the main car park, and is saddened to think that anyone would have such a lack of respect for those servicemen who gave their lives for our freedom."

If anyone has any further information or knows the whereabouts of the head they should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Amesbury Town Council on 01980 622999.