A FORMER soldier said he was 'brought to tears' after discovering the wreaths on Northwich War Memorial were relocated only 24 hours after Remembrance Sunday.

After attending yesterday's event, Tony Rogers, 52, was stunned to walk past the War Memorial at St Helen Witton Church today to see that the wreaths had been removed.

A notice has been put up informing the public that the wreaths have been relocated to Danebridge War Memorial due to renovation work.

Mr Rogers, a former Sergeant who served 22 years in the (Cheshire) Mercian Regiment, said the act was ‘worse than vandalism’.

“It’s an absolutely disgusting act,” he said. “It’s impassionate to do something like this so soon after Remembrance Sunday.

“It is a disgusting act of vandalism as far as I am concerned. I am incensed.

"Who in their right mind would that? It is worse than vandalism to remove the wreaths so soon.

“Someone needs to be brought to justice. I don’t know what right they think they have to do this.”

Chris Shaw, Northwich Town Council clerk, said renovation work was originally due to start in the summer, but was held off until after Remembrance Sunday.

He said everyone who laid a wreath at Sunday’s event received a letter explaining that they would be relocated.

Mr Shaw said: “Renovation needs to be started as soon as possible. It is the 100 years anniversary next year so it needs to be spick and span for that.

“They have all been taken down to the other Cenotaph, in Danebridge. We spoke to the British Legion and they recommended that maybe they go there.

“We tried to explain to as many people as possible yesterday. Everyone was fine with it."

Mr Shaw said the wreaths will now be placed back on the War Memorial at St Helen Church Witton and will remain there for at least a week.

He said workmen have been instructed to work around the wreaths.

Mr Rogers, who has complained to the council, said removing the wreaths so soon after Remembrance Sunday was ‘unforgiveable’.

He said: “It is so insensitive, to do this just 24 hours after Remembrance Sunday. It is unforgivable.

“Nothing can reverse what they have done. It is a hideous crime. What right have the got to remove them?

"They have no right to remove them. It is beyond belief.

"They have got to give people time to get their thoughts together to move on, 24 hours is not enough.

"It has literally brought me to tears. I can’t believe they have done it.”