THERE was more anguish today for relatives of Huddersfield's war dead.
Vandals who desecrated The Lone Soldier war memorial in Birkby also stole the plaques bearing the names of 200 soldiers who gave their lives.
Now council officials have recovered the plaques - damaged beyond repair.
Geoff Hirst, of Kirklees Council's leisure services department, said: "It's sickening.
"It looks as though someone has taken an angle grinder to the heavy brass plaques to cut them up and has then tried to erase the names of the fallen.
"It is harrowing to think someone has done this to a memorial to the dead."
Police believe the vandals wrenched the brass plaques from the monument in Norman Park to try to sell them for scrap.
But publicity about the attack has meant the plaques would be very difficult to sell.
The statue ripped off its plinth is now at a stonemason's yard in Burnley, awaiting repairs.
And council officers are to hold talks with Royal British Legion officials to try and restore The Lone Soldier to his former glory.
But Mr Hirst warned: "It will cost many thousands to repair.
"We would love to have the monument restored and replaced by April next year - the 83rd anniversary of its unveiling."
Royal British Legion officials described as the attack as "very distressing".
Bill Burn, county officer for West and South Yorkshire, said: "It is certainly the worst incident of damage I have come across in more than 20 years with the Legion.
"It is appalling to think people can do this to a war memorial.
"The worry is now that we may not be able to determine just whose names were recorded on the memorial, because of the damage".
Birkby councillor Mehboob Khan said: "It seems apparent now that the attack on the War Memorial was pure theft. Nevertheless it is sickening to see the damage that has been caused. The plaques have been cut up with what I can only assume was an angle grinder.
"This means that many of the names are now missing or unreadable. The statue itself has been sent to restoration specialists for an estimate of the cost for repair, but I honestly can't see how these plaques could possibly be repaired. We must just wait and see.
"I have spoken with Hubert Rhodes, the president of the South Yorkshire branch of the Royal British Legion, and I feel discussions should take place with the Legion and the Friends of Norman Park group as soon as possible.
"We need to decide whether or not the statue and plinth are returned to its existing place or whether another site within the area should be considered."