Gloucestershire

Stroud World War II veteran's home burgled

Graham Furley in a vintage Jaguar at Staverton airfield
Image caption Mr Farley tried out a vintage Jaguar before flying a bi-plane at Staverton airfield, as a gift from the Rotary Club to celebrate his 90th birthday

The home of "one of the country's heroes" has been targeted in a burglary in Gloucestershire.

Graham Furley, a 91-year-old World War II veteran, was burgled just days after being awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's New Year Honours.

The burglary happened at a house in the Uplands area of Stroud between midnight and 19:00 GMT on New Year's Day.

Sgt Jo Fletcher said he had served as a fighter pilot and "put his life on the line to protect the nation".

'Worked tirelessly'

Mr Furley's daughter, Jane Oldmeadow, said the offender or offenders forced their way through a side window before searching the house - even opening the drawers next to the bed where he slept.

She said it was worrying to think her father could be honoured in recognition of his services to the community on one day and two days later have his home broken into.

Mrs Oldmeadow, 60, said: "He's quite a strong character, so he's quite cross about it - the fact that they've been in and taken his bits and pieces that matter to him."

Among the items taken was a commemorative Spitfire watch, which was a present from his daughter and son-in-law honouring his years as a wartime RAF pilot.

Mrs Oldmeadow said her father had worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to raise funds for charity as a member of Stroud Rotary Club and as part of the Stroud Hospitals League of Friends.

"I suppose 90% of his time is spent doing things for other people," she said.

'Remarkable man'

"He does a lot of work for Stroud Hospital, he spent all the Christmas period out with a float and grotto that he creates collecting money for good local charities."

Sgt Fletcher said: "This gentleman is one of the country's heroes, having courageously served as a fighter pilot in World War II.

"This remarkable man literally put his life on the line to protect the nation and ensure freedom for future generations and then continued in his civilian life by devoting himself to charity work.

"For someone to break into his house is a despicable act and whoever has done this should be ashamed of themselves.

"We are calling on anyone who knows anything about this burglary to come forward and help us catch those responsible."

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