Copy/paste from the "Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog": Former paratrooper racing to restore vandalised Old Malden war memorial. A former paratrooper is working flat out to restore a vandalised war memorial before Remembrance Sunday. The monument at St John the Baptist Church, Old Malden, toppled over when vandals ripped a strip of lead worth less than £5 from its roof on Monday, September 5. Stuart Allen, who became a carpenter after ten years in the Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers, jumped at the chance to repair the 90-year-old oak memorial. He said: I have lost a couple of friends in the wars and I have got a special interest in the First World War. I can imagine it being made by all the boys back then, thats what took my interest in it. I have got a great deal of interest in this and it means a lot to me. The 52-year-old, who will be working around the clock in his Fleet workshop to restore the memorial, said he will be taking it apart completely and replacing all the joints and rotten wood. The Farnborough man said: With renovation work it is specialist and not always straightforward. We might use lead replacement and I want to bolt it down to the plinth to try and stop this sort of thing happening again. The church feared it might have to cancel its annual remembrance service if they couldnt raise the funds to have the memorial restored in time. But the community has rallied round and have nearly raised the estimated £3,200 restoration bill through the Surrey Comets Honour the Fallen campaign. Insurers Ecclesiastic also agreed to help cover the cost of the restoration, excluding the rotting wood. Church treasurer Brian Whaymand said: Its great news. The response from the community has been excellent, really excellent. We have got everything from the community that we needed to cover it as well as the insurance. The church hopes work will be completed for an unveiling ceremony before their annual parade on Sunday, November 13. " Give that man a cigar! Much respect.