A WAR memorial has been vandalised with a garden and benches to commemorate heroes becoming home to drug addicts instead.

Soiled bedding, empty drug packets and broken glass are strewn across the Memorial Recreation Ground, in Hadleigh, while inappropriate messages have been scrawled on the memorial itself.

Hadleigh Salvation Army will hold the special 100th anniversary Remembrance service for Armistice Day this Sunday, meaning there are just days to fix all the problems.

Robin Bryant, 78, is the leader of over 60s club at Hadleigh Salvation Army.

He is also supports the Royal British Legion selling poppies and organising annual festivals.

He said: “We have to be sympathetic to folk that are sleeping rough, but we would hope they would be respectful towards the war memorial and what the memorial is all about, particularly with the service coming up on Sunday.

“It is hoped that the memorial is as poignant today as what it has always been.

“The service for Remembrance Sunday, although brief, is an important service for many local people.”

When asked what would be done to solve the problems a spokesman for Castle Point Council said: “Arrangements are on hand, as they always are, to ensure all the war memorials across the borough are cleaned prior to Remembrance Sunday services.”

However no mention was made of the graffiti and vandalism to the war memorial itself.

The centrepiece includes a roll of honour commemorating those who fought in the First World War, as well as the names of 13 veterans who died during their service.

It now also includes childish engravings.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: “War memorials and graves honour the unique contribution and sacrifices of the British Armed Forces and deserve to be treated with the utmost respect.”

Councillor Bill Sharp added: “First and foremost let me assure that it will be cleared and tidied, even if it’s the night before. I find it very distasteful what is going on. It’s a disgrace that this has happened. You can’t win when these people don’t want to listen to you. There were issues on firework night and issues on Halloween, and I’ve no doubt this mess was caused during these events.”