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Pub manager appeals for help to recover father's war medals after raid on The Aviator at Queenborough Corner

By Chloe Holmwood

A heartbroken pub manager is appealing for help to recover his late father’s prized collection of medals.

Phil Chislet was devastated when a thief targeted The Aviator, Queenborough Corner, on Monday last week.

The burglar stole four medals and a small amount of cash.

VIDEO: The Aviator at Queenborough Corner was raided last Monday

He also took Phil’s father’s diary, which featured his journey back from Burma and described how much he was looking forward to seeing his wife Olive.

The 52-year-old, who has been general manager at The Aviator for 10 years, said: “There were four medals: one Burma Star, one police service medal and two war service medals – they are irreplaceable.

“It’s not just them but the diary my dad wrote to my mum when he was coming back from the war in Burma.

General manager Phil Chislet
General manager Phil Chislet

“They are real, personal artefacts and it’s really upsetting to think someone has stolen them.

“There is no big monetary value to these items.”

The father-of-three added: “I thought they would be OK in my safe – they have been in there for years – and I was planning to pass them down to my children.”

Four medals belonging to Phil's late father Charles Chislet
Four medals belonging to Phil's late father Charles Chislet

The burglary happened between 8pm and 9pm when the pub was open.

The culprit is thought to have got in at the back, through Phil’s private accommodation and into his office.

He discovered the break-in at around 12.30am. “The windows were wide open upstairs in my flat and it was freezing cold,” he said.

The Aviator was raised on Monday, October 3
The Aviator was raised on Monday, October 3

“The pub is all alarmed, we have CCTV cameras and someone lives on site, so you just don’t expect this to happen.

“Nothing has ever happened like this before – luckily my wife and children were not here.”

CCTV footage shows a man wearing gloves and a scarf.

A CCTV image has been released in the hunt for the burglar who targeted The Aviator
A CCTV image has been released in the hunt for the burglar who targeted The Aviator

Phil said he was also wearing a navy blue Nike jumper, blue and white trainers with white soles and dark trousers.

He also had dark hair and distinctive eyebrows.

Phil added: “We have now gone to extra lengths to make the pub more secure so that this doesn’t happen again.”

Anyone who recognises the man in the image is urged to call the police appeal line on 01795 419119, quoting crime reference number: XY/39313/16

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