A mystery over items disappearing from a village war memorial has finally been solved.
Concern was first raised when white fencing surrounding the memorial in Hurstpierpoint went missing.
And fears grew still further the following week when wreaths left at the war memorial also vanished.
The alarm was sounded and an appeal for information went out from the local parish council.
But this week the mystery has been solved after it was revealed that the items were stored in a resident’s garage for safekeeping after a misunderstanding.
Trevor Evans, parade marshal for the Hurstpierpoint and Albourne branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “I thought they had been stolen.
“I thought ‘who the hell is going to take fencing from a memorial’?”
But his fears turned to relief when he realised what had happened.
“Normally, I collect the wreaths in January from the memorial but after the Remembrance Parade this year I was asked by several villagers if the wreaths could remain for a while.
“I had no problem with that but I was worried they might get dislodged and be blown around.
“One lady said she was happy to keep an eye on them and I agreed to keep them there until June.
“But then the fencing went missing and I put a notice up in the village and then three days later the wreaths had gone.”
But fears were allayed when the mix-up was discovered and the fencing and wreaths were found safely stored.
l On another occasion a number of years ago, a British Legion flag was stolen from the village and later discovered in a dustbin.