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Police appeal after war medals stolen from 106-year-old veteran's home in Milton Regis, near Sittingbourne

By Chloe Holmwood

Police are appealing for information after a number of medals were stolen from a 106-year-old war veteran.

The medals, belonging to Leslie Stelfox and his late father, Arthur, were taken from his home in Milton Regis, near Sittingbourne, on Saturday, August 3.

On Thursday, a 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the break-in but he has been released without charge.

Leslie Stelfox, 106, was burgled while he was in his garden
Leslie Stelfox, 106, was burgled while he was in his garden

Now, officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have been offered the medals for sale or seen them advertised.

They are described as being:

  • Three First World War campaign medals, two silver and one bronze. All round in shape;
  • One silver HMS Swift war medal. It is round in shape;
  • A long service medal, which would be dated from the early 20th century;
  • General service medal 1936-38;
  • A 1938 general service medal for Palestine;
  • The 1939-1945 star;
  • The Italian Star 1939-1945;
  • The North African Star 1939-1945; and
  • General service medal 1939-1945.

Some of the military honours that date from the First World War may have Arthur Stelfox's name engraved, while some of the later medals may have Leslie's service number – 4124264 – on the back.

The centenarian also had his wallet, with about £45 inside, taken during the break-in, which happened while he was watering his plants in the garden.

The war medals that were taken from Leslie Stelfox's home
The war medals that were taken from Leslie Stelfox's home

This is the second time Mr Stelfox has been burgled in just five years.

In 2014, thieves took the same medals and a number of other belongings – but police were able to reunite him with his honours two months later.

The widower, who served with the Cheshire Regiment, said: “This is another kick in the teeth.

“The medals are no good to anybody else, but they proved I’d done my bit for the country.”

PC Ben Shove, the investigation officer for the case, said: "These medals are of huge sentimental value and were awarded to two men who provided exemplary service to this country.

"We have followed numerous lines of inquiry, including arresting a 40-year-old man on suspicion of burglary, to try and locate these items but they are yet to be recovered.

"It is likely whoever is in possession of these items will be looking to sell them on and I urge anyone with an interest in this market to be vigilant and report any suspicions to us."

Police say the arrested man has been released, while the investigation continues.

Anyone with information should call 01795 419119, quoting 46/150616/19.

To remain anonymous, contact Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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