The cap badge was discovered missing on Remembrance Sunday from the temporary grave belonging to World War I Lieutenant Sergeant Thomas Highton.
Adie Platts, chairman of Worksop’s Royal British Legion, and Gary Kyriacou, who lives in the late soldier’s former home, went to lay a wreath at Retford Road Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday when they discovered what had happened.
One of the medals, which was screwed onto the cross, was missing, and an obvious attempt had been made to steal the other.
The two regimental badges and temporary cross grave had been carved out of wood earlier this year by Worksop’s Men in Sheds group as a heartfelt tribute to Thomas, whose grave had been unmarked for over 100 years since his death in 1919.
RBL Worksop branch secretary, Grant Cullen said: “Somebody with a malicious intent has removed one of the cap badges, and damaged the other one.
“Obviously, somebody has taken one of the badges off thinking that they could possibly sell it.
“It's unfortunate, but it's the times we live in; there won't even be any value in it.”
The Worksop RBL branch has submitted an application to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to place a permanent headstone to commemorate Thomas Highton. If the application is unsuccessful there are plans to raise funds locally.
Anyone with information on the theft should contact the RBL Worksop branch via its Facebook page.