Woodbridge: War hero’s delight as medals returned

A SECOND World War hero who survived when his submarine was sunk by the Germans has been reunited with treasured war medals stolen during a burglary.

Police have now returned the five medals that were taken during a break-in at the 88-year-old’s Melton home.

Officers were contacted by a man who recognised them after reading about the theft in the East Anglian Daily Times earlier this month.

Anne Marie Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We can confirm the medals have been recovered.

“Their owner is delighted they been found and returned. They mean an awful lot to him.

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“We would like to thank the East Anglian Daily Times for the appeal that was published. It helped us recover the medals.

“We would also like to thank the member of the public who contacted us about where they were.”

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Although no charges have been brought in relation to the burglary, police stress that the investigation is still continuing.

The theft had been strongly criticised by the Royal British Legion, who said they would do all they can to support the victim.

The burglary happened at a home in Turnpike Lane, Melton, near Woodbridge, between 11.30am and 5pm on April 1.

The 88-year-old man – who has asked not be named – had several items stolen including ivory ornaments and a Distinguished Service Order medal.

It was awarded for his heroism when he survived after his submarine was sunk by Nazi forces during an attack on a German battleship during the Second World War.

After finding out about the break-in Alan Ramsey, president of the Woodbridge branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “Why would anyone want to steal something like that? It is obviously of great sentimental value.

“We will do all we can to try and get the medal recovered or even replaced if we need to.

“It is incredibly sad that someone would do this. This man is a hero.”

The investigating officer, Detective Constable Andy Summers, said the Distinguished Service Order medal in particular was very distinctive and awarded for bravery in the face of extreme danger as many of those involved in the attack on the battleship were killed.

At the time the break-in was part of a long line of similar burglaries which had happened in the Suffolk Coastal area since the beginning of the year.

Last month alone there were 17 burglaries – many of which occurred during the daytime.

Since then police have made a number of arrests.

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