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Southend Council's expressed it's horror at the vandalism which has appeared at the town's Cenotaph at Westcliffe - and has promised to have it cleaned off in time for Remembrance Sunday.
Civic leaders say they condemn the actions of mindless vandals who defaced the memorial to brave Southend residents lost in the two World Wars.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Leader, Councillor Ron Woodley said: "Southend Cenotaph is an extremely significant monument which is far more than a piece of history. It stands in continual tribute to the men and women in our borough who made the supreme sacrifice and shows they will never ever be forgotten.
The people who have so recklessly damaged it have shown massive disrespect - not just to the families of those honoured by this memorial - but to everyone with relatives who laid down their lives in the service of their country.
We are horrified that this ugly graffiti has scarred our Cenotaph just weeks away from Remembrance Sunday.
It is even more tragic that the vandals have struck just as the Cenotaph was undergoing conservation works to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War.
This was specially planned to ensure it would be preserved in the best possible condition for many generations to come.
We have contacted Police about this act of destruction and will do our utmost to make sure those responsible for such a despicable act will be brought to justice. The tag is clearly visible so I would urge anyone that recognises it or knows who did this to report it to the Police on 101."
In a statement to Heart, the authority says the graffiti will be "swiftly removed" and the Cenotaph renovation programme will continue ready for Remembrance Sunday - 9th November.