A veteran from the second world war who fought at Monte Cassino has spoken out against the “yobbos” who drew Swastikas and a Hitler moustache on the political poster he had displayed in his garden.
Frank Moody, who served with the Royal Artillery in the battle for Rome in 1944, was disgusted to find his posters supporting UKIP candidate Sandra James had been daubed with the very symbols of the regime he fought bitterly against, the Express reports.
As a 20 year old, he participated in one of the fiercest battles of the war, where the Allies conducted a series of assaults aimed at breaking through the German defences to liberate the Italian capital, which cost the lives of 55,000 of their troops.
The veteran of Monte Cassino, who has been a parish councillor for 36 years, woke on Friday morning to discover the damage which included a photograph of Ms James with a toothbrush moustache drawn on.
The 90 year old spoke out against the vandalism from his home in Hampshire, saying, “I fought Hitler in the war against the Nazis, so it made me very angry to find swastikas outside my gate.”
“This is supposed to be a democratic country,” he said. “That’s what I fought for.”
“Anyone should be allowed to put up any political posters they want and not be intimidated by yobbos like that.”
Mr Moody and his twin sister Mary were both Conservatives until five years ago when they both defected to UKIP. Speaking to the media, Mary said “My poor brother is very shaken by what happened.”
“People may not agree with his views, but they should respect him and his right to have them.”
Sandra James, who is standing against Conservative Caroline Nokes in the marginal seat of Romsey and Southampton North, pointed out that the poster was not at street level so easily subjected to a random attack.
“One of the posters was 15ft high on a tree, so this must have been carefully planned. You’re not just going to be able to reach up and do that.
“Frank was very upset by this,” she added.
“He already fought the Nazis once, now he’s having to fight against people who frankly have a complete misunderstanding about what the democratic process is all about.”
Ms James, whose sister is the South East MEP Diane James, said police had been informed but so far have not confirmed what action is being taken or if the attack is being treated as a hate crime.
It comes only days after another UKIP premises was vandalised, with a shop in Northumberland sprayed with the words ‘Nazi Scum’, the News Post Leader reports.
The UKIP PPC for Blyth Valley Barry Elliott, where the attack took place, said: “All we try and do is give our people and communities another choice, an alternative for change.”
Mr Elliott said it was natural that not everyone would agree on politics but added “there is no need for this.”
“These attacks will not deter me. Someone out there will know who did this.
“An attack on democracy is an attack on you, your mam, your dad, your family, your friends.
“I would also explain how ignorant and misaligned the person was. “It is completely inaccurate to align UKIP with the Nazis – what their doctrine was, and that the Nazis wanted to rule Europe.
“We want out of it, control immigration etc, that does not make us racists.”
A police spokesman said “Enquiries are ongoing into the damage and police are appealing for anyone with any information to contact them.”
Northumberland County Council has now removed the graffiti.