Thieves steal MBE and dead wife's jewels

WHILE this 76-year-old was at chapel thieves smashed into his house and stole his MBE, medals and his irreplaceable jewellery which belonged to his wife who died just weeks ago.

WHILE this 76-year-old was at chapel thieves smashed into his house and stole his MBE, medals and his irreplaceable jewellery which belonged to his wife who died just weeks ago.

Peter Page, 76, was at the village's Methodist Chapel on Sunday when a burglar broke into his bungalow.

The medals stolen included Mr Page's MBE, a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) long service medal, a national service medal and a First World War medal awarded to his grandfather.

Brooches presented to his wife Doris, who died earlier this year, for long service to the Poppy Appeal were also snatched in the raid along with her engagement ring and a locket containing Mr Page's picture.

Mr Page, who lives within The Royal Hospital School (RHS) complex in Holbrook, said he has been left both sad and angry by the break-in.

He said: “If I was told someone was hard up and wanted a few pounds I would be the first one to give them some.

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“These sorts of things are not valuable - they are only valuable to the person they belong to.

“It is quite an honour to have the MBE and the other medals and I wear them on British Legion parades and on Remembrance Sunday.”

Mr Page said a thief had used a brick to smash a window in his lounge before climbing in and searching drawers and rooms.

The intruder stole cash from a mantelpiece and medals from a drawer in Mr Page's bedroom.

Mr Page became a member of the order of the British Empire in 1995 and was presented with the award for services to horticulture and the village of Holbrook.

He was gardener at the RHS for 51 years, served on Holbrook Parish Council and was chairman of the Royal British Legion.

Today he remains a committee member of the Legion and is also harbour master at Holbrook Creek - a post he has held for 60 years. Mr Page's wife Doris died suddenly in January - just months after the couple celebrated their golden wedding. Jewellery bequeathed to her granddaughter in her will was also taken during the break-in and Mr Page said it cannot be replaced.

He added: “The medals can be replaced but my wife's jewellery cannot. She had all sorts in there, including a locket I gave her before we were married.

“Even if I do get a replacement MBE it won't be the same. It wouldn't be the one that was actually handed to me by Prince Charles. I went to Buckingham Palace to receive it and I had all the paraphernalia up there.

“If any jewellers or anyone in the area is offered any of the jewellery or an RHS medal or an MBE they should report it.”

The break-in happened between 9.30am and 11.30am on Sunday . Anyone with information should call Dc Dave Dulake at Capel CID on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Do you have any information to help us return Mr Page's belongings? Do you have a message of support for Mr Page? Contact The Evening Star on 01473 324789 or email>

An MBE medal.

An RHS long service medal for 40 years service.

A National Service medal - which Mr Page bought himself.

A Germany medal - which Mr Page also purchased.

A First World War medal belonging to Mr Page's grandfather. He believes it had the name Frederick Oliver Copper engraved round the edge.

Four British Legion brooches belonging to Mrs Page, including one to mark 35 years service to the Poppy Appeal.

A gold chain and two pendants.

Mrs Page's engagement ring.

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