A FAMILY have been left heartbroken after a celebrated Royal Marine’s medals were stolen in a burglary.
More than a dozen medals of the late William Thelwell were stolen after the break-in at a house on Hayling Island.
The theft has devastated his 92-year-old wife and his son Robin Thelwell.
Police are investigating the burglary and are appealing for information as to the whereabouts of the medals.
The medals included The Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the 1939 to 1945 Star.
Mr Thelwell received a bronze ‘Mentioned in Dispatches Oak Leaf’ for bravery after his gallantry was mentioned in an official military report that was sent to high command.
Robin said: ‘It was a huge collection of a well-decorated Royal Marine. He joined the forces in 1937 and he went through the Second World War. He went to Korea, Borneo, Brunei, the Suez. It’s pretty sad really. It’s very upsetting for my mother.
‘I feel sorry – it’s regrettable that someone has seen fit to take them.’
Mr Thelwell served on HMS Belfast for many years. He died 23 years ago, aged 73.
The burglar also made off with the Royal Marine’s miniature dress medals.
‘It’s a double whammy,’ added Robin, who lives in Barnham, West Sussex.
A spokesman for Hampshire police said: ‘A burglary happened between February 1 and February 13.
‘A 92-year-old woman who lives there noticed it during that time.
‘War medals that were on display and also a container with war medals were taken.’
n The medals were: The 1939-1945 Star, The Atlantic Star, The Africa Star, The Burma Star with Pacific Clasp, The Italy Star, The 1939-1945 War Medal, The Korea Medal, The Mentioned in Dispatches Oak Leaf, United Nations Korea Medal, Naval General Service Medal with Near East Clasp for the 1956 invasion of Port Said and Suez Canal, The General Service Medal for ‘minor wars’ and the Borneo Clasp, The Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
Call police on 101 if you can help with the investigation.