Medals stolen on way home from veteran father’s funeral:

Keith Ridings, 64, has appealed to thieves who stole a bag containing his father’s war medals.


WWII veteran Ken Ridings wearing his medals (photo: Keith Ridings)

Ridings’ father, 90-year-old WWII veteran, Ken Ridings had died a week earlier and his medals were shown at his funeral as a reminder of his service to his country. Keith was returning to Devon after the funeral when the medals were stolen from him.

Mr. Ridings was on the 11:17 AM service going between Birmingham New Street and Exeter St. Davids after changing trains from Manchester.

His bag containing the medals were put on the luggage rack but were missing when Keith exited the train at Exeter. “I inherited these medals from my father’s estate only a couple of weeks ago.” Keith Ridings said. “When I discovered these medals were missing, I felt a complete sense of loss and disappointment”.

Keith’s father Ken, earned the medals between 1945 and 1948, when he served in North Africa and the Middle East.

“It upsets me that someone is in possession of those medals, who has no idea what my father went through to earn them. They obviously mean a lot to me.” Keith Ridings said of his stolen items.

Besides the medals, the bag also held clothes and other personal items.

Investigating officer PC Gary Archer, from British Transport Police at Exeter station, said: “We don’t believe these medals have any monetary value so will be relatively worthless to the thieves – but their value to the victim is priceless. He was understandably distraught to find them missing and so we ask whoever took them to do the right thing and return them to their owner.”

PC Gary Archer went on to say “We are reviewing CCTV and working to trace those responsible but if you recognize these medals or know who took them, I urge you to get in touch immediately.”

* Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or text 61016, quoting 149 of 17/06.

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