VETERAN Bob Chapman suspects the WWI Anzac Gates vandal is the same person who cut a mountain peak off the Sandakan memorial.
The second attack at Anzac Park, the bronze scale Sandakan memorial is just one of 12 in the country.
“I just feel it’s related, in my own heart I believe the Anzac and Sandakan memorials have been targeted by the same individual,” Tamworth RSL sub-branch president Mr Chapman said.
“It’s just a blatant attack, I have my suspicions about who could be behind it but I can’t say anything because it could be detrimental.
“But they’re just sick individuals, go and bust up a garbage bin not these sacred sites that represent honour and respect for those who served, fought and died for us – it’s unforgivable.”
The Sandakan memorial represents a particularly horrific attack by enemy forces in World War II.
More than 1800 allied and Australian troops lost their lives.
That loss of life brings special significance to the Sandakan memorial, and Mr Chapman wants to see harsher penalties for war memorial vandals.
“Maybe there should be more severe penalties like jail time,” he said.
“A bit of time in penitentiary might just put them off.”
The vandals have completely removed one mountainous peak and began sawing into another but did not manage to destroy it.
The memorial is owned by council and it’s hoped dual CCTV can be installed to protect the two significant war memorials before the Sandakan service on February 15.
“It’s impossible for us to estimate a cost for repairs at this early stage but we will work with the RSL sub-branch and police in any manner they deem appropriate,” a council spokeswoman said.
A funding opportunity has also been identified for repairs to the Anzac Gates and an application will be made this month with the support of the Tamworth RSL sub-branch.
The honour rolls on the Anzac Gates were desecrated just hours before crowds gathered for a dawn service on Anzac Day earlier this year.
Three of the four honour rolls were damaged by the vandals.
Anyone with further information is encouraged to contact Tamworth Police Station on 6768 2999.