A TEENAGER has been charged in connection with the spray painting of a war memorial in Tullibody. 

The 14-year-old boy has also been charged in connection with a spate of other mindless acts of vandalism, which took place overnight in the town. 

The historic memorial had been discovered around 7.30am on Friday, the eve of Armistice Day, scrawled with blue paint. 

Councillors and members of the public had discussed coming together to clean the mess themselves but Clackmannanshire Council moved sharply to send out a team and remove the tag. 

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, area commander for Forth Valley, said: "I want to thank the local community for their support as we conducted our enquiries in the area, as well as Clackmannanshire Council for their quick removal of the graffiti.

"All forms of vandalism are completely unacceptable, however we understand that this was particularly distressing for people given the meaning these memorials hold and the time of year this took place.  

"I want to reassure the public that we're not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident and a report will be submitted to the children's reporter."

Residents were furious at the lack of respect shown to those who had lost their lives during the war, at a time when the community was set to join together in remembrance. 

John Mitchell, a retired welder and security guard from Tullibody, regularly walks his dog around the memorial park and criticised the ignorance behind the crime. 

He said: "It's a disgusting exhibition of some imbecile that's not been educated right.

"It's an insult to the people that fought for this country and the actual plaques themselves, I've personally been arguing since 2010 for them to get renewed.

"I understand there's a number of names missing and there's a requirement for them to be replaced.

"They're entitled to some sort of respect because they've been killed for our county."

The inconsiderate conduct failed to stop people in the area uniting and honouring the service of men in the past, as an act of remembrance was held on Sunday, November 12, conducted by Reverend Drew Barrie.

Members of four local schools attended the event alongside other local church representatives, members of Legion Scotland and former servicemen.

A spokesman for Legion Scotland described the "disgraceful act of vandalism" as "disrespectful to the memories of those who have fought and died for our country". 

Meanwhile, Frances Moreton, director of the War Memorials Trust, said the vandalism was "extremely disappointing".

She continued: "For the families of those whose names are recorded on the memorial, and for those who visit the memorial regularly, this would be sad at any time of the year, but it is especially sad at this time."

Known as the World War One memorial, the monument in the Lychgate Road area was erected in 1920 and was said to be one of the most unusual in Scotland.

It was placed there in memory of 27 local men who fell in the Great War because it lay half way between the two villages from which they came - Cambus and Tullibody. 

A large boulder forms the base and the cross is of granite and stands 10ft 6 inches in height.

Some people have since taken to social media, to express their gratitude to the police and council for their hard work. 

Councillor Darren Lee posted: "Huge thanks to the community police officers for all their hard work in finding the culprit."

Joyce Bell wrote: "Wonderful community spirit shown here. Well done folks! Our memorial in Alva was damaged years ago too so know how you feel!"