Silent Soldiers guarding the Maryport memorial to the fallen have been damaged by vandals.

Mayor Peter Kendall said he was shocked and disgusted at what he described as "wanton vandalism."

"Is nothing sacred? I just absolutely despair at this wanton vandalism.

"It is only a handful of people who are doing this kind of thing. The council works closely with local schools and most of the young people in this community are great. But there is this small group. They should be totally ashamed of themselves.

"These soldiers are standing right next to the memorial of those who died in wars - and maybe some were even their own relatives."

Town clerk Paul Bramley said the top of the rifles above the right shoulder of each or has been snapped off and an attempt to push them over made.

"They are made of strong plastic, so it must have taken considerable deliberate effort to damage both, and they are fixed into the ground via long metal stands, so again it must have taken some effort to push them to a 45 degree angle," Mr Bramley said.

Mr Kendall said he would be recommending to council that the Silent Soldiers be repaired if possible or replaced.

"We can't let this dross win."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Police on 101.