JUST days after its installation, a figure commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War was vandalised.

The Silent Soldier figure on Sholing Green was disfigured by vandals some time between Thursday evening, October 25, and Friday morning, October 26, which left the silhouette bent out of place and missing some parts vital to its structure.

But when a local veteran discovered the damage, he repaired the Tommy figure that very morning.

Martin Hance found out the figure had been vandalised via a Facebook group at 11.30am on Friday.

The 36-year-old from Sholing repaired the memorial that very day.

He said: "I thought it was terrible, it was only around the corner from me and I hadn't even seen it yet.

"I saw it and I thought 'I can fix that'.

Daily Echo:

"I went to a local DIY shop called John's DIY to get some flat washers for the repairs and I told him what it was for.

"He let me have them for free."

The Silent Soldiers commemorate the 1.1 million British and Empire service men and women who died during the war.

Martin, who served as a mechanic in the REME for 13 years, has to remove the figure from its structural pole to straighten it back out.

He also had to bend the pole back so it was straight, paint the washers to match the black background and then reattach the silhouette.

Martin added: "I felt sad that whoever had done this hasn't been educated as to why we remember.

"If people don't remember we will make the same mistakes."

Martin is now a motor vehicle teacher at City College in Southampton and has been engaged to his partner Nicola Shakespeare, a photography student, for 2 years.

A Silent Soldier has been placed in each of the city's wards taking residence in parks, open spaces and outside libraries.

A spokesperson for The Royal British Legion said: “The Silent Soldier installations honour the memory of Armed Forces personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who defend the freedom we enjoy.

"We are shocked and saddened to hear of the damage caused and are extremely grateful to Martin for showing his support for Remembrance.”