War memorial toppled after being 'hit by car'

The damaged War Memorial in Maulden, Bedfordshire
Maulden Parish Council said it was working to make the scene safe [Lee Agnew/BBC]

A war memorial has been "badly damaged" after seemingly being hit by a vehicle in the early hours of Saturday.

The memorial in Maulden, Bedfordshire, was toppled and left in a heap in Ampthill Road at about 03:25 BST.

In a statement on social media, Maulden Parish Council said the damage had been reported to the police and it was working to make the area safe.

The authority said it "would very much appreciate it if people could avoid walking on the war memorial area at this time".

The damaged memorial with broken glass in front of it
Broken glass was strewn around the memorial in the village, which lies halfway between Bedford and Luton [Lee Agnew/BBC]

Brian Woodward, of the Royal British Legion's Flitwick branch, said a nearby CCTV camera had filmed three or four people running from the scene.

"It seems that a car has hit the big stone by the memorial and flipped into it," he said.

"It is very upsetting for everyone in the village. It has been here for all these years and now it is not there."

Parish council clerk Tracey Bearton said a stonemason would be assessing the structure on Monday.

She added that repairs would be undertaken after consultation with the council's insurance company.

The damaged memorial, with turfed up grass in the foreground
Parish councillor Brian Woodward said it was "very upsetting" for villagers to wake up to [Lee Agnew/BBC]

The memorial was installed in 1920 to honour people from Maulden who died in combat during World War One.

Fallen soldiers from World War Two were later added to the granite tribute, which has 36 names inscribed on it.

The council said its insurers had been contacted and given them permission to make the area safe, due to the broken glass.

Repairs to the memorial would take place after the insurance company assessed the damage, it added.

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