A 70 year old man was left in tears after thieves stole his father’s war medals, his late wife’s jewellery and the last link to his sister, who died as a child.
An intruder broke into the home of Alan Sutton in Warren Road, Fairlight, between 2m and 7pm on Saturday August 3.
Mr Sutton lost his wife Maggie to cancer eight years ago but kept her jewellery, including gold necklaces, her watch and a large quantity of earrings and costume necklaces. All were taken in the break-in.
Also taken were war medals of Mr Sutton’s father, Herbert Sutton, a chief petty officer in the Royal Navy who served at sea for 25 years. Among them were his First World War Allied Victory Medal and 1914-15 Star Medal, his Second World War Defence medal and his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
They were in a presentation with frame with a photograph of Herbert Sutton in uniform as well as having H Sutton engraved on them.
The last memento of Mr Sutton’s older sister, Rene, was also taken in the burglary. Rene died aged eight after an accident in 1933 and her small 1930s child’s watch had been kept by her family to remember her by.
Mr Sutton said: “When I have thought about what has happened I have broken down in tears. Things like the medals and jewellery are worth little to anyone else but are worth a fortune to me. I just hope somebody knows where they are and that they are returned.”
The thief also escaped with historic coins, a 1903 commemorative coronation medallion and a collection of autographs of some of the most famous footballers of all time.
Among the autographs included are those of Stanley Matthews, John Charles, Nat Lofthouse, Tom Finney and Bert Trautmann. Pride of place went to that of England footballer Duncan Edwards, who sent his note to Mr Sutton a fortnight before he was killed in the Munich air disaster.
Detective Constable Alex Campbell said: “It is likely that the thieves will try to offer the items to collectors or second hand shops but the medals have the name of Mr Sutton’s father on them and the autographs are a unique collection.
“If anyone hears anything about where they could be or who is responsible for taking them I would urge them to contact me.”
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 1446 August 3 or anonymously on 0800 555111.