A 106-year-old Second World War veteran has been left heartbroken after thieves stole his war medals as he watered his plants.
Burglars didn’t just take Leslie Stelfox’s six medals, earned during his service in North Africa as one of the Desert Rats, but also took three of his late father Arthur’s First World War medals.
The raid on the veteran’s home in Milton Regis, Kent, last week is the second time the medals have been taken in just five years.
Last time police were able to return the honours two months after they were taken in 2014 but Mr Stelfox said the latest theft was another “kick in the teeth”.
“The medals are no good to anybody else, but they proved I’d done my bit for the country,” he said.
Mr Stelfox, who is 106, served in Cheshire regiment, and fought against the Nazi forces led by the Erwin Rommel 'Desert Fox' in North Africa.
The pensioner said he found the medals missing from his home between 1pm and 3pm on Saturday after he came back inside from watering his plants.
“It was very quick. I was in the garden doing my watering.I didn’t see anyone. When I came back in, I saw the mess.
"I am angry. You can understand people taking money and what not, but they could have left the medals.
“I’d like to get them back. They’re earmarked for my grandchildren.”
The culprits also took Mr Stelfox’s wallet, with about £45 inside, and cases storing his army records, passport and birth certificate were smashed, although the documents were not touched.
The centenarian, who has lived in his home for more than 30 years, said he did not yet know if more belongings had been taken.
Following the first burglary three men, who also lived in Milton Regis, were jailed.
The medals were: General Service for Palestine 1938; the 1945 Star; General Service 1936-1938; Italian Star 1939-1945; North Africa Star 1939-1945 and General Service 1939-1945.
Some have Mr Stelfox’s war service number on the back – 4124264.
Those belonging to his late father were three 1914 campaign medals, one for long service and a special one relating to HMS Swift, which would have been awarded for either saving the ship or someone’s life.