Grandson devastated after 100-year-old war medals stolen in 'sickening' house raid

Anthony France, Isobel Frodsham

A First World War soldier’s 100-year-old medals have been stolen in a “sickening” raid on a family’s home.

Joseph Cheesewright, who died in the Fifties, handed down the engraved heirlooms which grandson Martyn and his wife Jenny kept in a jewellery box containing a “lifetime of memories” at their house in Biggin Hill.

Jenny, in her seventies, was at her daughter’s Orpington home and her husband was working when the raiders struck mid-afternoon.

They kicked open a door and ransacked every room, taking a 18ct white gold ring Martyn had made for Jenny, which she wore on their wedding day 48 years ago.

A box of jewellery including a gold pocket watch belonging to Martyn’s late father, a white gold bark-effect signet ring, two half sovereigns and passports, among other items, were also stolen.

The couple’s daughter, Amy Thrower, 32, said: “It’s sickening and deeply upsetting. My dad phoned in tears after returning from work, saying, ‘We’ve been burgled’.”

She added: “It’s devastating that they’ve lost all of those memories that represented their lifetime.”

Details of Mr Cheesewright’s rank were engraved on the medals which the family is desperate to have returned.

Scotland Yard said footage of the burglary on April 9 is being retrieved and forensic leads investigated. No arrests have been made.