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Anger over state of hero warrior statue

PUBLISHED: 15:30 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:40 23 August 2010

A LANDMARK paying tribute to one of the town s most prestigious former residents has been damaged for more than three months. Damage to the General Charles George Gordon statue in Fort Gardens, near Gravesend promenade, has angered Pirthipal Singh Kang,

A LANDMARK paying tribute to one of the town's most prestigious former residents has been damaged for more than three months.

Damage to the General Charles George Gordon statue in Fort Gardens, near Gravesend promenade, has angered Pirthipal Singh Kang, who first noticed the problem in January.

Mr Kang, who works as a community liaison officer for Kent Fire and Rescue Service out of Thames-side station in Northfleet, first realised something was wrong at the General's 125th anniversary celebration in the gardens on January 26. He said: "This man is a great warrior and a great hero. We have people from the army come to the town and we should be making sure that everything is ready and perfect. It is not good enough.

"During the anniversary the weather was terrible I had rain in my eyes and they were streaming, but I knew something was wrong. I came back again when the weather was better and stood staring at it for an hour when I suddenly realised what the problem was."

The statue of General Gordon, who distinguished himself in campaigns in China and North Africa during Victorian times, has had the blade of its sword broken off from the hilt

Mr Kang added: "When I came here in 1979, this park became my second home. Someone has to fix this."

General Gordon was born in Woolwich, but is remembered in Gravesend for his work developing the riverside fortifications as well as considerable charity work with the town's poor and needy between 1865 and 1871.

Gravesham Borough Council says it does not know how the statue was broken and is seeking a specialist to restore it.

A spokesperson said: "The technical issues are considerable and will take some time to resolve," adding that the area is now covered by CCTV cameras to discourage any vandals.

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