RESIDENTS have registered their outrage as vandals defaced a Scottish war memorial to those who died in world wars using the word "rats".

The vandalism was discovered at the Duchess of Hamilton Park in Motherwell which celebrated its 100th birthday two years ago and is home to a war memorial commemorating those who died in the First and Second World Wars from across the district.

North Lanarkshire Council which posted pictures of the graffit, urged the public to contact Police Scotland with any information that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators and added: "This disrespectful act can't be tolerated."

READ MORE: War graves destroyed by mindless vandals ahead of D-Day 

The memorial, which features a a three stepped base, a cenotaph style column and a lion couchant, has the names of over 1100 who died in North Lanarkshire in both world wars.

HeraldScotland:

It also features inscriptions of the countries and regions that were the focus of the both world wars, including France, Belgium, Jutland, Gallipoli, Salonica, Mesopotamia, Palestine and the Falklands.

Vandals had written the word 'Rats' above a Palestine inscription.

Above the names of the dead was written, "scum of the earth" and "cowards".

People registered their disgust over the vandalism to the council.

Jackie Whittingham said: "Horrendous.. What kind of people could do this."

READ MORE: Police issue appeal after Somme mural vandalised

Darren Hartlebury added: "What is wrong with these people. Absolutely vile to write on this. No respect."

And Alan Watt remarked: "My brain just can't fathom this. It goes way beyond disgusting."

Deputy council leader Paul Kelly said: “I’m outraged and appalled at the vandalism to the war memorial in Duchess Park and I would appeal to anyone with information about those responsible to contact Police Scotland.

“Last week, the world was commemorating the selfless contribution of servicemen and women in the D-Day landings and remembering all those who served in World War II.

"This week, mindless vandals have tarnished these special memories, and their ignorance has not only brought shame on them but hurt to local families whose loved ones are remembered on this memorial.”

The memorial also features a sword within a wreath and a Motherwell crest flanked by two Scottish soldiers standing at ease. Beside each of them is a kneeling soldier holding out a flag.

HeraldScotland:

In 2012 a memorial was erected for the Spanish Civil War, to honour all those from North Lanarkshire who joined the fight against fascism but never returned from Spain.

It takes on special significance on Remembrance Sunday when people from across the area come together to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom The park was gifted to the people of Motherwell in September 1917 by the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton who once owned a great deal of land in the area.

Police Scotland said that the incident which saw the memorial and name plates vandalised happened between Saturday, June 8 and Monday, June 10 and appealed for witnesses.