A DESECRATED war memorial honouring a Second World War Gorbals VC winner has been recovered by police after parts were stolen and sold for scrap.

As reported in last week's Evening Times, the Gorbals Rose War Memorial, which cost around £48,000 to build, was left bent and the bronze rose head stolen by metal thieves.

The statue was created in 2005 by the Gorbals Art Project to honour one-time local resident James Stokes, who was killed in action and awarded the Victoria Cross.

After reading of the theft, a scrap metal dealer near Stirling contacted the police, after realising he had been sold the bronze rose by three men.

Claire Flanagan, a member of the Gorbals Art Project, said: "We're pleased that we found it, and it's nice we have it back.

"But from what I can see there's no way it can be repaired.

"We'll feel pleased once we can get the whole thing reinstated because it was quite precious to the community."

The site of the statue, in the Gorbals Rose Garden on Old Rutherglen Road, was a focal point of the community and an area popular with dog walkers.

The scrap dealer said the three men who sold him the metal were eastern European.

Chief Inspector Stephen McAllister, who is investigating the theft, said: "We have CCTV footage and I suspect they are probably three locals.

If we can identify the type of car and get the registration number, we'll see if we can identify them."

Private James Stokes, 30, from the Gorbals won the Victoria Cross posthumously in March 1945 for single-handedly storming two German machine gun posts.

He was a member of the leading section of a platoon from the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, who were pinned down by heavy fire from a farm building in Kerbenheim, Germany.

Going ahead of his platoon without waiting for orders, Stokes entered the building and reappeared with 12 German prisoners, even though he had been wounded in the neck.

Refusing first aid, he then charged another occupied house, reappearing this time with five more prisoners.

He was wounded eight times in his final assault and died shortly afterwards.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest UK award for gallantry.

fiona.mckay@ eveningtimes.co.uk