Bri­tish war vet’s medals stolen

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATRIN OWEN

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.

FAIRFAX NZ

Six ser­vice medals were stolen from a Bri­tish war vet­eran’s home in One­hunga.

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