More than 1,000 model soldiers were stolen from a display at the recent Battle of Hastings re-enactment.
The miniature Saxon and Norman soldiers had been painstakingly built and painted by members of the 1066 Wargaming Club in order to enact the Battle of Hastings as a huge board game.
The display had been taken to various board gaming and historic events and was on display at Battle Abbey for the annual 1066 re-enactment.
But sometime overnight between Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, the mighty mini army was stolen from the Abbey, much to the dismay of club members who were to spend the weekend showcasing their hobby to visitors.
In a statement on Facebook, 1066 Wargaming Club said: “Of course this huge number of miniature soldiers has great significance to 1066 Wargaming Club because we have all spent a long, long time making this game the massive spectacle that it was.”
The miniatures are described as Saxon and Norman infantry, archers, and knights, mostly from Gripping Beast and Conquest Games.
The miniature figures are made of plastic and based in groups on wooden bases.
Despite the club’s desperate plea to help track down the absent soldiers, which has been shared over 1,800 times on Facebook, the models have yet to be recovered.
English Heritage, which runs Battle Abbey, expressed its disappointment at the theft.
Natasha Williams, head of Historic Properties Sussex, English Heritage, said: “We were very disappointed to hear about the disappearance of a large number of models from the 1066 Wargaming Club during the Battle of Hastings event.
“The club’s display is always incredibly popular with visitors and we hope that they are reunited with their models soon.”
The annual Battle of Hastings re-enactment, which takes place over two days, draws participants and spectators from around the world.
The theft has been reported to Sussex Police.
Anyone with information to the soldiers’ whereabouts is asked to contact 101.