The Carlton community has been rocked by a mindless act of vandalism which has desecrated the village war memorial.
Residents gathered with councillors to assess the damage caused after two bronze plaques were ripped from the stonework.
They bear the names of Carlton’s servicemen who lost their lives in the First World War.
Police are now appealing for information on the theft which happened between midday on Friday 18th March and 1pm the following day.
Ex-serviceman Brian Madden, of Dadley Road, Carlton, who is standard bearer for Worksop Royal British Legion condemned the ‘toerags’ who committed the crime.
“It’s just despicable,” said Mr Madden.
“It is an insult to those men who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but it also affects the whole community.”
Mr Madden said it was the second time in 18 months that the memorial had been targeted.
Coun Barry Bowles, chairman of Carlton Parish Council, noticed the plaques were missing on Saturday morning.
He estimates the cost to replace the plaques will be more than £3,000.
Carlton Parish Council will bear the brunt of the repair costs, as it is responsible for looking after the memorial.
“This memorial was completely renovated and re-dedicated in September 2009 costing many thousands of pounds,” said Coun Bowles.
“The plaques alone cost nearly £2,000 to repair after there had been an attempt to steal them previously, which had left them buckled.”
He added: “The Parish Council raised the money for this renovation by appealing to the good people of Carlton – who gave very generously – and to the War Memorial Trust for assistance.”
The memorial was previously looked after by the local branch of the Fellowship of the Services.
Chairman Ian Thompson said he was “appalled” by what had happened.
“Words cannot express the anger that this outrage has happened again,” he said.
“All of our companions have served in the armed forces and greatly respect and honour those who have made the supreme sacrifice.”
Police investigations are ongoing into the whereabouts of the plaques and to track down the people responsible.
It is thought the motive for the theft could have been to sell the plaques on.
Scrap metal thefts have risen dramatically in recent months in line with the prices being paid for it.
Sgt Mark Lee of Carlton’s Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “It is likely these bronze memorials were stolen, with the intention of selling them on as scrap metal for money.”
“I am aghast that anyone would even consider stealing these two plaques, which clearly commemorate those people from the Carlton area who gave their lives in the First World War.”
“I would appeal to those who are behind this crime to question their own morality and return the items to the Parish Council.”
“Alternatively I would appeal to anyone who knows the offenders, or to any scrap metal dealers who have been offered these plaques for sale, to call the police immediately.”
Anyone with information should call Notts Police on 0300 300 9999 and ask for Carlton-in-Lindrick Contact Point or Worksop Police Station.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.