British war vet’s medals stolen
A British war veteran is appealing for his irreplaceable military service medals to be returned after they were stolen from his home.
The medals were stolen from his home on Church Rd in Onehunga, Auckland at about 10.45am on October 23.
Steven Hardcastle served in the British Army for 27 years and just wants the medals back.
‘‘Their value is not worth anything to anybody, but to me you can’t replace them.
‘‘I lost some good friends getting those medals.’’
Hardcastle and his partner were at work on the Sunday morning when burglars ransacked his home while his partner’s daughter was in the house.
‘‘I got a phone call from Siobhan’s daughter Emily, who is 16, that there were some guys in the house,’’ he said.
‘‘By the time I got there the house had been cleaned out.’’
Police responded immediately and chased the scent with dogs, but are yet to find the offender or the stolen goods.
Among the six stolen medals was one honouring Hardcastle’s service in the Gulf War, another for the Iraq War, a Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal and a long service award medal.
Other distinctive items stolen during the burglary include a sapphire ring and necklace, a Breitling branded watch with a rubber wrist band, and a gold coloured pocket watch that was given to Hardcastle during his military career.
The watch and all six medals have the Hardcastle’s name, rank and service number engraved on it.
In 2007 more than 800 military medals were stolen from the National Army Museum in Waiouru.
The priceless collection, awarded to 12 of New Zealand’s most highly decorated war heroes were recovered in 2008 and a former employee of the museum Keith John Davies was charged.
‘‘I’d really like them back and yes, I can get a replacement but they don’t have your name on the back.’’
He said it had been a traumatic experience for Emily and the whole family.
Anyone who has information about the burglary is asked to contact Constable Daniel Ross of the Glen Innes Tactical Crime Unit on 04 212 3534 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Six service medals were stolen from a British war veteran’s home in Onehunga.